​Aston Villa chairman Tony Xia, who has a reputation for following players on Twitter that the club are close to signing, has been trolling the fans on the social media site this week.

The ​Birmingham Mail have reported that, on Friday, he followed Barnsley midfielder Conor Hourihane, a player Villa have been heavily linked with.

Xia did the same with recent signing Henri Lansbury, before publicly announcing his arrival at the club.

And clearly he has realised that fans are aware of his social media methods - either that or Villa are being a bit too ambitious with their transfer targets.

Whether he's just an admirer, or whether he simply wants to prank some of the more gullible Villa fans, Xia has started following both Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez and Manchester United record goalscorer Wayne Rooney.

Sanchez, of course, is yet to sign a new contract at Arsenal, though a drop down to the Championship seems somewhat unlikely.

As for Rooney, perhaps he was just waiting to break Bobby Charlton's record before making a switch to Villa Park. 

Keep an eye on Tony's Twitter.