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Villa boss O'Neill made check on Middlesbrough's Wheater

Aston Villa are set to bid for Middlesbrough defender David Wheater.

The Mail on Sunday says Martin O'Neill was being linked with an £8million swoop for Middlesbrough defender Wheater after Aston Villa saw off Italian side Fiorentina in a pre-season friendly at Villa Park.

The Villa manager took the 350-mile round trip to the Riverside with his assistant John Robertson and chief scout Ian Storey-Moore to watch Wheater in Boro's 0-0 Championship opener against Sheffield United on Friday night.

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