CHRIS Powell has warned Aston Villa not to waste their time trying to snap up Dale Stephens on the cheap when the transfer window opens.

Stephens saw a summer move to Villa Park collapse on deadline day in August after the two clubs failed to strike a deal.

And Powell believes Paul Lambert will need to reconsider his negotiating stance this time around if the Premier League side do reignite their interest in the midfielder next month.

The Valley chief said: “If Villa come back in, they know exactly what happened and it would be a waste of their time if they came in and we went through what we went through last time.

“So they know for a fact that it would have to be to the valuation that we asked.

“Whether they will come back only Paul Lambert and his people can answer that because they moved on pretty quickly after it didn’t happen.

“They managed to acquire a player in a similar vein to Dale and whether they come back remains to be seen.

“It is a part of the job I don’t really like because they upset a player who is quite happy here and you want clubs to do it the right way.

“Hopefully if clubs do come in for any of my players if they do it the right way then we will stick to what we believe is right. If both parties agree then the player goes.”

Powell added: “It has got to be the right deal and we are not just going to roll over because someone says ‘we want your player’ and they are from the Premier League.

“Of course the players will have aspirations to play higher and that is right.

“I was in that position as a player and you want to play higher.

“But we aren’t just going to let teams come in and say they want him and then give us not the true valuation.

“If they match our valuation and everything is agreed then they will always go with my blessing.

“But I want good players to stay here to improve us and make us go to where we would like to be.

“All the players know that because of what happened with Dale.

“They know that we valued Dale at a certain price, it wasn’t met so as much as any player would want to go up there (Premier League), it has to be right for everyone.

“It can’t be right one way, it has to be right for everyone.

“To be fair to Dale he has got on with his game, has played ever so well and I’ve made sure that he is in a good place because it can be hurtful.

“You kind of picture yourself playing in the Premier League, playing in all these top notch grounds and it doesn’t happen, it can be devastating so fair play to him.

“Mentally he has picked himself up and got on with it. I’ve always been very with him, kept him in the loop and I will always do that with all of my players.”

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