Aston Villa are ready to made a club record bid for Liverpool striker Peter Crouch.

The Mirror says the giant England forward, 26, had a forgettable stint at Villa Park from 2002-2004 after a £5million move from Portsmouth, before he was offloaded by ex-boss David O'Leary to Southampton.

But present Villa manager Martin O'Neill is a fan of the hitman, who has scored 12 goals in 22 games for England, and made an inquiry in August for the star.

Villa would be prepared to smash their transfer record for the forward - eclipsing the £9.65m deal with Watford in January for Ashley Young - and make Crouch their highest paid player alongside Gareth Barry who earns £47,000 a week.