The Daily Mail says Villa's boss is desperately short of cover at left-back and has earmarked the former France international to fill the spot vacated by Wilfred Bouma.

The Dutch defender suffered a dislocated ankle against Odense last weekend and could be out of action for up to six months, leaving the Irishman with a major problem.

And so O'Neill has sounded out Sir Alex Ferguson about the possibility of using Silvestre on a temporary basis.