Norwich City transfer rumour latest: Aston Villa linked with Robbie Brady

Robbie Brady during a training session at the Stade de Montbauron, Versailles. Photo: Chris Radburn/

Robbie Brady during a training session at the Stade de Montbauron, Versailles. Photo: Chris Radburn/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Are Aston Villa preparing to make another 'hostile attack' on Norwich City ahead of the new season?

Four years after Paul Lambert left for Villa Park in acrimonious circumstances, the Midlands club are reportedly ready to return, this time for a player.

According to reports in Birmingham, new boss Roberto Di Matteo is keen to make Robbie Brady one of his first signings as he, like Canaries boss Alex Neil, looks to bounce back to the Premier League at the first attempt.

But Villa will come armed with wads of cash: new owner, Chinese businessman Tony Xia, has made his ambitions clear – and he has the funds to back them up.

And while Lambert's exit was met with fury given the way he had taken City from League One to the top flight in consecutive seasons, any move for Brady would be equally poorly received.

With Villa coming down alongside Norwich, it would reflect poorly on the Canaries should Brady leave for a Championship rival – and again prompt questions about whether or not City have the finances to compete with wealthy foreign owners.

Brady is also reported to be a target for West Brom, who have turned their attentions in his direction after supposedly giving up the fight to sign Nathan Redmond who remains the subject of much speculation.

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Brady is currently in France, desperate to avoid an early return from Euro 2016 as the Republic of Ireland's hopes hang perilously in the balance following a 3-0 defeat by Belgium on Saturday. Brady and club and country team-mate Wes Hoolahan have to put on the performances of their lives on Wednesday when the Irish must beat Italy, winners of both their matches in France, and then hope the match between Sweden and Belgium ends in a draw – and even then, goal difference is against them.

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