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Man City target Aston Villa star Fabian Delph in £8 million deal - sources

Manchester City are closing in on the signing of Aston Villa and England star Fabian Delph, sources have told ESPN FC.

City boss Manuel Pellegrini is in the market for midfield reinforcements after seeing Frank Lampard and James Milner depart the Etihad Stadium this summer.

Former Leeds youngster Delph has come on City's radar after impressing for Villa and England in the last 12 months.

The 25-year-old was handed the club captaincy by Tim Sherwood when he took over as manager, and he was instrumental in helping Villa avoid relegation from the Premier League and reach the FA Cup final.

Delph only signed a new four-and-a-half-year deal at Villa six months ago as the club looked to prevent the midfielder seeing out his contract and becoming a free agent.

Included in the new contract was a buyout clause of £8 million, and City are now ready to trigger it to bring the all-action midfielder to the club.

City see Delph as a valuable addition to their squad to bolster their midfield options as well as boosting their homegrown quota, which has been hit by the departures of Lampard, Milner, Michah Richards and Scott Sinclair this summer.

Delph is determined to make the move to City as he feels playing in the Champions League will enhance his chances of staying in Roy Hodgson's England squad ahead of next summer's Euro 2016 finals in France.

Losing Delph will come as a major blow to Villa, who are already looking to bring in a replacement with a deal in place to sign Senegal international midfielder Idrissa Gueye from Lille.

Tottenham have also been linked with Delph, but City are in pole position to land the player and the Bradford-born midfielder is expected to become City's first signing of a busy summer at the Etihad.

Villa's new assistant manager Ray Wilkins said earlier this week that the club want to keep Delph and are hoping that no other Premier League clubs come in for him during the summer transfer window.

The 2013-14 Premier League champions are set to step up their summer recruitment plans after UEFA announced that City and Paris Saint-Germain have had their restrictions on transfer spending and Champions League squad size lifted after meeting their financial fair play targets.


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