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The numbers behind Arsenal's striker search


Villa confirm Warnock pursuit as talks continue

Aston Villa have confirmed they are in discussions with Blackburn Rovers regarding a possible deal for Stephen Warnock.

The versatile 27-year-old, who played in both defence and midfield for Rovers last season, was dropped for the Premier League defeat to Sunderland last weekend after manager Sam Allardyce claimed the player had been distracted by speculation regarding his future.

Warnock returned to the bench for Tuesday's Carling Cup tie against Gillingham but now Villa have stated that talks are underway with their Premier League counterparts as they seek to prise the Liverpool academy graduate from Ewood Park.

"Villa can confirm they are in discussions with Blackburn Rovers over the transfer of Stephen Warnock," read a club statement.

Allardyce has previously conceded he will struggle to prevent Warnock from joining a club that finished in sixth place last season but has warned Martin O'Neill that any offer must adequately reflect the player's value to Rovers, with reports putting that price tag at £8m.

Warnock joined Blackburn from Liverpool in a £1.5m deal in January 2007 and he has proved an accomplished performer for the Lancashire side.

He only missed one Premier League fixture last season and impressed at both left-back and in central midfield under Paul Ince and then Allardyce.


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