Villa enter Lopo race
By Adam Marshall
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Aston Villa are the latest club to be credited with an interest in Albert Lopo.
Aston Villa are the latest English club to be credited with an interest in Espanyol's highly-rated defender Albert Lopo.
David O'Leary's side are rumoured to have sent an agent and scout to see the centre back feature in the 3-0 win against Numancia at the weekend.
The Catalan club appreciate the fact that Lopo's contract expires in 2006 and are believed to be willing to discuss a transfer if they cannot tie him to fresh terms.
Manchester United have watched the 25-year-old but have yet to make a decision over whether to bid for the player.
Villa are reportedly willing to open the bidding for Lopo and could be the mystery club the Spaniard has referred to in his most recent statement to the media.
"There have been negotiations with several teams but there is one in particular we are speaking to at the moment," he said.
"It would always be nice to play for a top side in England but, at the moment, I do not have an offer.
"At the end of the day, it is down to Espanyol, as I am under contract to them, and whether they receive an attractive offer."
Lopo has been linked with a number of Premiership clubs in the past but Villa's name is a new one in the frame.
Bolton Wanderers are also admirers of his talents.