Liverpool striker Rickie Lambert could be on his way out of Anfield just eight months after joining the club.

Aston Villa are believed to have launched a late move to sign the England international, according to reports in The Telegraph. The report says: Villa’s manager Paul Lambert is making a bid of around £5million for the England international and could complete a surprise deal before tonight’s deadline. The former Southampton forward is aware of Villa’s interest and weighing up the prospect of leaving Anfield barely eight months after joining in the summer.

Liverpool have already rejected a number of inquiries from Premier League clubs that include Crystal Palace and Hull City, to take Lambert on loan today, but Villa are tabling a permanent offer for the 32 year old and the move could tempt the Reds to cash in on the player.

Lambert is a boyhood Liverpool fan, and if he does leave the club, it would be based on getting regular first team football, something which doesn’t look like it’ll happen at the Merseyside club.

Brendan Rodgers’ shift to 3-4-2-1 requires a high-intensity system with a lot of pace and pressing and Lambert’s natural game doesn’t offer Liverpool that. Lambert is a tradition striker who can offer a more physical presence in the attack. He was always brought to Liverpool to give a Plan B to the manager but the addition of Mario Balotelli also gives Rodgers’ the exact same option. Therefore it makes sense for Liverpool to want to bet on the erratic Italian who is both younger and has the ability, if not the temperament, to come good sooner or later.

The Reds have been boosted with the return of Daniel Sturridge and the England international proved his worth and showed exactly what Brendan Rodgers’ side was missing as he scored a goal just after 12 minutes of being subbed in after a five month absence.

Rickie Lambert’s move to Aston Villa would prove to be a good one for all three sides as the player will get regular game time and can ensure his presence in Roy Hodgson’s squad if he gets in good touch for the Villains. Aston Villa currently have a huge goal shortage, which has seen them go over ten hours without scoring and Lambert could prove to be a difference, along with winter signing Carles Gil. Even though Liverpool have rejected loan offers for Lambert, this transfer might happen because it seems like good money for pretty much a surplus member of the squad.

James Pearce of Liverpool ECHO reported that Brendan Rodgers is in a fix regarding Lambert’s situation. He wrote, “The Reds had no plans to off-load the big frontman prior to tonight’s 11pm transfer deadline. However, Villa’s willingness to offer in excess of the £4.5million Liverpool paid Southampton for Lambert last summer could lead to a U-turn.”

Times journalist Tony Barrett tweeted that the player wants to stay at Liverpool for as long as the club wants him. journalist Graeme Bailey tweeted that a number of late bids for Lambert could be expected.