Aston Villa have stepped up their interest in Blackpool goalkeeper Matt Gilks, [football] direct news understands. The shot-stopper has entered the final weeks of his contract at Bloomfield Road and the chance to join a Premier League club on a free transfer would be hard to resist. A source close to Villa Park told FDN the Scotland international has been identified as the man to provide competition for regular number one Brad Guzan, and talks are likely to get under way when his deal officially expires in June. Tangerines man Gilks is permitted to speak to overseas clubs now regarding a free transfer move in June, but cannot enter into a dialogue with English sides until he becomes a free agent. Villa had been waiting to secure their Premier League status before turning their focus towards targets for the summer transfer window. They travel to title favourites Manchester City tomorrow night safe in the knowledge that they will not be relegated.