Fulham have come back with a second bid for defender Mark Delaney but Villa have scared them off with a £4million asking price.

Villa revealed last night they had rejected a bid from the Cottagers for the Welsh international after the Evening Mail revealed details of Fulham’s interest.

Fulham manager Chris Coleman is believed to have made an initial £400,000 offer to Villa to test the water which was understandably rejected “out of hand” by chairman Doug Ellis.

But now the Londoners have shown they are serious and have more than trebled their offer to £1.5million and are currently waiting for an answer.

It was thought Ellis was keen to cash in, but now it appears they have had second thoughts about losing one of their chief assets.

Delaney has three years left on his contract and before an injury-ravaged season last year was one on the wish-lists of some of the biggest clubs in the Premiership.

Villa are almost certain to say ‘no’ to Fulham’s fresh approach which is likely to mean that the London club will cool their interest and look elsewhere.

Fulham are looking to spend £2million maximum on a player to replace £3.5million Liverpool-bound Steve Finnan.

Villa’s problem in releasing Delaney is that they only have Jlloyd Samuel and Rob Edwards on their books who can fill in, and neither are right backs.

A Villa spokesman is quoted on the club’s official website as saying: “We can confirm that Fulham did make a bid for Mark Delaney, but that offer was rejected out of hand.”