Aston Villa keen on Irish U21 star

Midland’s pair Aston Villa and West Brom are both battling to sign Derby’s highly-rated Irish under-21 midfielder Jeff Hendrick, according to reports.

Villa boss Alex McLeish and his WBA counterpart Roy Hodgson have keeping a close eye on the 19-year-old following an impressive start to the new season with the Rams.

Hendrick has been a key player as Derby have started the season in impressive fashion and the Nigel Clough’s side currently sit third in the Championship table.

Hendricks, who featured for the Irish under-19 side that did well at the European championship, has established himself as a regular in Derby’s starting line-up over the last few months.

Clough is keen to keep his young starlet and is ready to offer the player a new improved contract in an effort to fend off the interest from the premiership duo although with Clough’s under future under threat following reported interest from Nottingham Forest, it remains to be seen if the players ties himself to the club.

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