Italian side Empoli are being linked with a move for Villa’s Icelandic midfielder  Birkir Bjarnason, according to reports from CalcioMercato.

The Serie B side are reportedly interested in a swoop for Bjarnason, giving the player a return to Italy after a difficult time in Birmingham.

The Italian side have made contact with the player, with a view to get the player to return to Italy, where he has previously played for Pescara and Sampdoria.

The midfielder only made 11 league starts last time out, and only made an appearance from the bench against Hull City on Monday.

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Empoli will have until the end of the month to complete a deal for the Icelandic midfielder, with the Italian transfer window closing at the end of August.

Bjarnason was linked with a return to Italy in January, reportedly agreeing on a deal with Parma to secure more playing time. However, that move was blocked by Villa.

The midfielder recently returned from World Cup action with Iceland, appearing for his nation as they failed to make it out of their group in their first World Cup.