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Aston Villa interested in Celtic target, Bulgarian national Aleksandar Tonev

Aston Villa are reportedly looking at Bulgarian winger Aleksandar Tonev, who is also being targeted by Celtic.

Alex Livesey

Mat Kendrick confirmed on twitter today that Aston Villa are looking at Bulgarian winger Aleksandar Tonev. The 23-year-old, who currently plays for Polish club Lech Poznan, is also being targeted by Celtic. Tonev, who came up through the CSKA Sofia youth system, has been a key part of Lech Poznan's season, scoring four goals to help the club to a second-place finish in the Ekstraklasa.

Tonev has also featured for the Bulgarian national team, and scored a hat-trick in Bulgaria's 6-0 drubbing of Malta in March World Cup qualifying play. There's video of the goals here, though as Aaron said in our email thread, "The only thing I learned from watching these highlights is that Malta is... terrible." Lest you think Aaron is understating, notice the ellipses in that quote. He put it a bit more strongly. In the video, Tonev scores the 1st, 2nd, and 5th goals.

Putting a damper on Aston Villa's desire, though, are Celtic. They've apparently offered something in the range of £2 million. While the Scottish club can offer Tonev Champions League play, he is reportedly concerned about whether or not the Scottish Premier League is any good (hint: it's not). Despite the lack of European play, Villa's presence in the EPL may be an advantage here. One would have to think that having former Bulgarian captain Stiliyan Petrov as a coach would also help Villa's position.

Overall, it's hard to know what to make of Tonev. That said, and I know this is always risky, given the successes with young players in the past year, I'm willing to give Lambert and Co. the benefit of a doubt here. He's going to be a cheap purchase, so there really isn't too much downside. Let's get this summer transfer window started!