By Greg Stobart
Aston Villa are preparing to make a fresh approach for Tottenham defender Kyle Naughton to replace Stoke target Alan Hutton.
Villa made enquiries for Naughton at the start of the summer as new manager Paul Lambert looks to re-unite with the 23-year-old following his season-long loan spell at Norwich last term.
The Midlands outfit were priced out of a move for the full-back at that time but now want to re-open talks over a deal for the former Sheffield United man.
Naughton would cost around £5 million and Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas is ready to listen to offers as he streamlines the Londoners' squad.
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Reading also tried to sign Naughton earlier in the summer but Villas-Boas wanted to assess the squad before deciding on the future of fringe players.
And while the Portuguese rates Naughton, he understands that the right-back wants to play regularly in the Premier League and would struggle to displace Kyle Walker from the Spurs side.
Villa first have to offload Hutton, who himself cost £4m when he arrived from White Hart Lane last summer but failed to settle at Villa Park.
The 27-year-old was left out of Villa's squad for their tour of the United States and did not play in warm-up matches against Peterborough and Nottingham Forest after being told he does not feature in Lambert's plans.
The main obstacle to Hutton's departure is the £30,000-a-week salary he earns at Villa, but Lambert is desperate to offload the right-back and sign Naughton as an upgrade.
When asked last weekend whether Hutton will still be at the club on September 1, Lambert said: "I don’t know, I'm not so sure.
"He's shown a good attitude in training so there are no qualms on that front.
"I spoke to Alan before we went to America and it is the same as before. Nothing has changed really. He is training with the first team and doing everything right.
"I have no problem with Alan whatsoever and he knows that because I had a chat with him.
"There have been no inquiries for Alan – not at the minute."
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