Aston Villa are set to pay a Premiership record £10 million for Liverpool goalkeeper Scott Carson.

Villa have already paid £1.75m to cover his temporary stay and have been told they can keep him by parting with a further £8.25m.

Impressed with his contribution so far, Martin O'Neill is expected to meet Carson, who has given up on trying to dislodge Pepe Reina at Anfield, in the next few weeks to discuss a long-term contract.

The Villa manager may have to move swiftly, though, after it emerged that other clubs are also monitoring the 22-year old's availability.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is known to be an admirer, but Benitez confirmed Villa were in pole position by saying: "They have first option to buy him."

The fee would eclipse the British record £9m Sunderland paid Hearts for Scotland's Craig Gordon.