Blackburn hold out on fee as Villa close on Warnock

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The Independent Football

The Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill is closing in on the Blackburn Rovers defender Stephen Warnock. Villa confirmed they are in discussions with the club about the player.

Warnock was an unused substitute in the Carling Cup win against Gillingham on Tuesday. He sat out the weekend defeat by Sunderland and stayed at home as speculation mounted about his desire to leave Ewood Park. Warnock has become a key player for Blackburn with his ability to play at full-back as well as in midfield.

Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce has already stated Warnock will only be allowed to leave for the right price. "It is obvious he would like to move to a club of that size [Villa] without me trying to cover it up," Allardyce said. "The problem is we want the value we think Stephen is worth and that is the most important thing from my and this club's point of view."

Tottenham defender Pascal Chimbonda, meanwhile, is understood to be speaking to Rovers about a move. The 30-year-old, who has struggled since returning to Spurs from Sunderland, can operate across the defence, including Warnock's left-back position.