By Vicki Hodges (The Telegraph)
Last Updated: 8:51am GMT 31/10/2007
Aston Villa are desperate to sign Liverpool striker Peter Crouch in the January transfer window.
Manager Martin O'Neill is ready to break the £9.65 million club record fee which saw them land Ashley Young, to bring Crouch back to Villa Park.
England international Crouch spent a largely unsuccessful two-year stint in the Midlands after a £5m move from Portsmouth in 2002 and scored only six goals in 47 Premier League appearances before then-manager David O'Leary sold him to Southampton for £2m.
O'Neill remains an admirer of Crouch and enquired as to his availability back in August but is now ready to launch a bid to sign the 26-year-old who has scored 12 scores in 22 appearances for England.
Crouch has found himself down the pecking order at Liverpool this season following the summer arrivals of Fernando Torres and Andriy Voronin and has only started five games in all competitions this season.
Despite his bit-part role, Crouch is thought to still be happy at Anfield and is not seeking a move away from the club.
Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez has also insisted that he wants to keep hold of his giant striker but could be tempted by a big-money offer.
Sven-Goran Eriksson has already indicated his desire to bring Crouch to Manchester City to bolster his current light-weight attack.