By Dominic Toner

Aston Villa are weighing up a January swoop for Brighton midfielder Beram Kayal, according to a report.

The Sun claim that Villa manager Steve Bruce is preparing a move for the 28-year-old in the January transfer window.

Kayal’s current deal with Brighton is set to expire at the end of the season and he will be available to speak to clubs about a pre-contract in two months time.

But it is said Bruce is preparing to beat any potential suitors by landing Kayal straightaway.

The Sun report that Bruce tried and failed to sign Kayal during his time as Hull manager.

The central midfielder has also previously played with Celtic and Israelien side Maccabi Haifa during his playing career.

He is currently sidelined for two months with an ankle injury, but is set to make his return at the beginning of January.

Kayal made eight appearances for Brighton this season before his injury blow and was a regular under manager Chris Hughton.

His side have since continued the good form and are second-placed in the Championship, just three points adrift of league leaders Newcastle.

Villa are currently 14th in the table and have improved remarkably since the appointment of Bruce as manager, following the sacking of Roberto Di Matteo in October.

The Midlands club do currently have tough competition for places in the midfield, with Mile Jedinak, Aaron Tshibola, Gary Gardner and Ashley Westwood competing for a spot.

In other Aston Villa transfer news, the club’s January transfer target is set to be offered a new deal.