Aston Villa keeping tabs on Sunderland ace as scouts 'rave' about midfielder

Dan Neil has been linked with a move to Aston Villa.

Neil signed a new long-term deal earlier this season, saying there was 'nowhere he would rather be'.

Lee Johnson was unaware of separate reports, which had claimed that Burnley could make an opening offer of around £3 million, late last year.

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The Sunderland head coach says he believes the 20-year-old can play at the highest level, but stressed that he stated he can do that on Wearside.

SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND - JANUARY 11: Dan Neil of Sunderland reacts during the Sky Bet League One match between Sunderland and Lincoln City at Stadium of Light on January 11, 2022 in Sunderland, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Neil is enjoying an impressive breakthrough season, in which he has been repeatedly scouted by top-level clubs, as indeed he had been in U23 football for season's previous.

Home supporters have loudly serenaded Neil as 'one of their own' regularly this season.

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Fresh comments from Alan Nixon in The Sun on Sunday claim that Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard is very keen on Neil.

Nixon has stated that Villa’s scouts are ‘raving’ about Neil, with the club seeing the signing of Neil as a long-term project.