West Bromwich Albion manager Roy Hodgson is keen to commit winger Chris Brunt to a new contract in an attempt to ward off interest from Liverpool reports The Sun.
The Baggies boss, who awarded Brunt the captain's armband soon after moving to the Hawthorns, is preparing a bumper new contract to keep all of his leading stars at the club.
Liverpool director of football Damien Comolli is said to be a huge admirer of Brunt, and will try and negotiate a deal to see him move to Anfield when the transfer window reopens in June.
The 26-year-old midfielder, rated at around £8million, has been in fine form in the Barclays Premier League this season to help fire West Brom into the top-half of the table.
Despite having two years still to run on his existing deal, ex-Anfield boss Hodgson wants to ward off interest from Liverpool as well as Midlands rivals Aston Villa for his star player.
Villa may move for Brunt as a replacement for the outgoing Ashley Young, who has been constantly linked with a move away from Villa Park in the summer.
Ironically, Young too is rumoured to be on his way to Liverpool, with Reds boss Kenny Dalglish said to have earmarked the England international as his number one wide midfield target.
But with the Merseyside club reportedly interested in two wing additions, Liverpool could be about to deliver a double blow to Aston Villa by signing both an existing player as well as Gerard Houllier's lined up replacement.
With the Baggies keen to build on an impressive second half of the season since the arrival of Hodgson. Brunt will be fundamental to their plans, and so the club will be hoping to end all speculation linking him with a move to either Liverpool or Aston Villa.
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