Aston Villa have turned a takeover bid because the offer significantly undervalues the company, the club said on Thursday.

News of the bid sent Villa shares up four percent to 242 pence in morning trade – valuing the club at around £28m.

The club said they had received “an indicative proposal from certain parties,” including 43-year-old Ra Ranson, who made over 200 appearances as a defender for Manchester City.

“Having considered the proposal and consulted with the company’s advisers, the board’s view is that it significantly undervalues Aston Villa and the proposal has been rejected,” Villa said in a statement to the stock exchange.

Villa were linked to a possible takeover by a Venezuelan billionaire earlier in the season. The club revealed in September they had held talks with a potential investor but described the approach to buy shares as “highly speculative”.

Longstanding chairman Doug Ellis has come under criticism from supporters unhappy at his running of the club. Ellis took control of Villa for the second time in 1982 and has been in charge for 30 years over two spells.