According to a report in the Birmingham Mail, Aston Villa are set to battle it out with Birmingham for John Terry’s signature.

The highly experienced Chelsea and England defender is available on a free transfer this summer after his two decades at the London-based club drew to a close at the end of last season.

Villa were heavily linked to the 36-year-old after his release, but it appeared that the Blues had stolen a march on their fierce rivals when it was revealed that Redknapp had made an offer that would see him become the highest paid player in the club’s history.

However, Villa are unwilling to back down and are going to offer him even more money. It is now up to the Blues to continue negotiations with neither of the Chinese owners wanting to lose face – and it now expected that no decision will be made until the middle of next week at the earliest.

This is one interesting cat and mouse game that is bound to continue.