Villa make move for Bennett

England Under-21 international on Paul Lambert's agenda

Joe Bennett: Bid from Villa on the table for Middlesbrough defender

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Sky Sports understands Aston Villa have made a bid for Middlesbrough defender Joe Bennett.

The 22-year-old is a graduate of Boro's famed academy and has made over 90 appearances for the club since his debut in 2009.

He has emerged as the club's first-choice left-back and is part of the England Under-21 set-up.

A number of clubs have been tracking his progress in recent months and, after failing to prise Aaron Cresswell away from Ipswich Town, Villa boss Paul Lambert has turned his attention to Bennett.

Bennett has not played this season due to injury but he is on the brink of returning and was set to be involved again this week.

However, Villa have now made a bid and are hopeful of completing a deal with Boro, who have been using summer signing George Friend at left-back during their opening matches of the season.