Aston Villa have joined the race to sign Fulham striker Clint Dempsey but the player would still prefer a move to Liverpool, Press Association Sport understands.
Sources close to Villa have confirmed the midlands club had reached agreement with the Cottagers for Dempsey with a bid of around £7million being accepted. However, Dempsey still wants to make the switch to Merseyside with the Reds his number one choice.
Villa boss Paul Lambert did confirm that a deal for Chesterfield striker Jordan Bowery "was nearly done", with the 21-year-old set to complete a £500,000 move plus add-ons.
Lambert said: "He has signed, just about. Potentially he is very good and I've got no worries about throwing him in, none whatsoever.
"It (the signing) might have surprised a few people but it is a great opportunity for him. He is one for the future, but if he steps up to the plate I have no fear about playing him."
Charlton midfielder Dale Stephens is another player Lambert is keen on signing.
He said: "I've not heard anything back from that one. That is in Charlton's court at the moment."
Hopes of signing Belgium international striker Christian Benteke appear to be fading after an improved offer of around £6m was also turned down by Genk.
Genk are reported to want at least double that amount and Lambert admitted Villa would not match those sort of financial demands.
He said: "The situation hasn't changed from the last few days. It is where it is at the minute. Would Villa pay £15 million? No."
- Aston Villa
- Clint Dempsey
- Paul Lambert