Villa make move for Stephens

Lambert hoping to improve his squad before transfer deadline

Dale Stephens: Charlton Athletic midfielder is understood to have been the subject of a bid from Aston Villa

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Sky Sports understands Aston Villa have launched a bid to sign Charlton Athletic midfielder Dale Stephens.

Villa boss Paul Lambert is hoping to improve his squad before the transfer window closes, if the right opportunity becomes available, and is now thought to have made a move for Stephens.

The 24-year-old joined Charlton last summer on a three-year contract from Oldham Athletic after taking in a brief but impressive loan spell at Southampton.

Stephens played an influential role in the Addicks winning the League One title and has started all three games in the Championship since the club's promotion.

However, he could now be offered the chance to step up to the Premier League after Villa showed an interest in the former Bury youngster.

Lambert has signed midfielder Karim El Ahmadi and defenders Ron Vlaar and Matthew Lowton since taking charge at Villa Park, with a deal for Australia international Brett Holman having been set up by his predecessor Alex McLeish.