ASTON Villa are once again being linked with a move for Burnley captain Tom Heaton.

National newspaper reports suggest a £7 million bid has gone in as the Villa Park club look to strengthen their goalkeeping ranks on their return the top flight.

They have also been credited with an interest in Stoke City's Jack Butland and Cardiff's Neil Etheridge having previously wanted to take Heaton on loan last season.

The 33-year-old's Turf Moor future is the subject of some debate with it reported last month that he turned down an extension to his contract which expires next summer.

At that point the he would be able to walk away for free and Burnley could elect to get the best deal possible for one of their key performers in recent seasons.

Heaton regained his place at the Clarets’ No.1 in the second-half of last season having battled for the gloves with Nick Pope and Joe Hart.

That form as Burnley finished 15th in the Premier League saw him recalled to the England squad by Gareth Southgate.

Having been on Nations League duty with his country Heaton linked up with the Clarets as their pre-season training camp in Portugal began on Monday.

Sean Dyche was always likely to have a decision to make between the sticks this summer with three internationals on his books.

Hart initially looked the most likely to leave having been forced to settle for a place on the bench in 2019.

Pope then signed a new long-term contract at the end of the campaign as he looks to try and force his way back into the reckoning in the coming season.

Having injured his shoulder last July at Aberdeen, the 27-year-old went on to make just two FA Cup appearances in 2018/19.

Heaton had shoulder problems of his own, which saw Pope initially get his chance and take his place in England's 2018 World Cup squad.

But the former Manchester United man stamped his authority on the position in 2019, with news of a contract stand-off a surprise.