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Aston Villa offers $4 million for Guzan

English Premier League team Aston Villa has moved into the lead in the race to buy U.S. national team goalkeeper Brad Guzan.

According to sources with knowledge of the negotiations, Villa has made a transfer offer worth close to $4 million for Guzan, doubling the offer made last week by Scottish champions Celtic.

Villa is keen to land Guzan with hopes of grooming him to be the club's starting goalkeeper once current starter Scott Carson's loan deal from Liverpool expires after this season.

Guzan spent four days training with Celtic last wek and appeared a good bet to sign with the Hoops, but Villa's late swoop has the 23-year-old Chivas USA goalkeeper considering his options. MLS is weighing the offers but it will ultimately come down to where Guzan wants to play.

With Celtic, Guzan is seen as a successor to Polish goalkeeper Artur Boruc, who has been linked to a move to AC Milan. With Aston Villa, Guzan would be in line to serve as the club's starter next season, if he didn't beat out current Scott Carson before that.

One stumbling block in Guzan's way is his need to secure a work permit It was believed that Guzan would be able to secure a work permit if he signed with Celtic but the process may be more difficult in England.

The 2007 MLS goalkeeper of the year, Guzan recently delivered an impressive performance in goal for the U.S. national team earlier this month, posting four acrobatic saves in the U.S. team's 2-0 victory against Sweden on Jan. 19.