Aston Villa are believed to be prepared to offer Damien Duff an escape route from the Championship, but could face stiff competition from the Premier League new boys.
Reports in The Irish Evening Herald suggest that Villa manager Martin O'Neill is keen on the Newcastle United winger, but will have to beat newly promoted Wolves and Burnley to his signature.
Duff is now facing a fight to hold onto his international place with competition arising in the shape of Reading's Stephen Hunt and Celtic's Aiden McGeady.
A move to a Premier League club will give Duff's international chances a boost, but reports in Dublin suggest the player may be keen on a move to Europe.
Newcastle will be keen on selling to the highest bidder and it is thought that a bid from Spain or Italy may interest both parties.
Republic of Ireland boss Giovanni Trapatoni's connections in Italy may make a move to Southern Europe more likely.
Written for Goal.com --- June 2009