Cardiff City have turned down an £8million offer from Aston Villa for goalkeeper Neil Etheridge, according to Wales Online.
The 29-year-old was ever-present for the Bluebirds in the Premier League last season, and delivered consistently impressive performances despite his club’s relegation.
His displays clearly caught the eye of Dean Smith who is seemingly on the hunt for a goalkeeper to challenge Jed Steer for a starting spot in the nets.
Steer delivered a string of excellent displays as Villa embarked on an end-of-season run, with his season highlight coming in the play-off semi-final when he saved two spot kicks in the penalty shoot-out against West Brom to send Villa to Wembley.
Smith is now clearly eager to have all bases covered ahead of Villa’s Premier League return, which would explain why he has launched a pursuit of Etheridge.
The former Fulham goalkeeper should now be pushing hard for a Premier League return, as he clearly showed last season that he is capable of playing in the top-flight.
Villa could also be a good fit for him as he enters the peak of his career, as he will be wanting to now play Premier League football regularly.
It is vital though, should Cardiff eventually accept any improved offer from Villa, that Etheridge seeks assurances from his potential employers that he will get first-team football at Villa Park. This is due to that fact that he could be competing for the number one jersey with Steer, Orjan Nyland and Lovre Kalinic.
Etheridge should accept the fact he needs to put up a fight for the starting spot, but he will not be happy moving to Villa and then playing second fiddle all season.
His displays last season proved he is Premier League quality, and he can now cement this status by making the correct move back to the top-flight.