By Amir Mir

Aston Villa have poached Everton’s European chief scout Ian Atkins to lead their Euro scouting operation, according to a reliable journalist.

Neil Moxley of the Sunday People has reported on his personal Twitter account that the Championship club have added the “well-respected” scout to their setup.

Birmingham-born Atkins joined the Toffees in 2012 to head their European Scouting network, with the former defender also plying a 19-year professional career.

But now Moxley has claimed that the former Birmingham City player has been signed up by the Midlands club.

“Bit more good news for Aston Villa,” Moxley wrote on his personal Twitter account on Sunday. “Ian Atkins poached from Everton to lead Euro scouting operation. Honest, solid, well-respected. Good signing.”

Both Villa and Everton made changes to their recruitment set-ups during the summer.

The Midlands club appointed former Toffees and Manchester United coach Steve Round as head of recruitment, while Everton signed Leicester City’s Steve Walsh for the same job role.

Villa are also set to make an appointment on the managerial front, with free agent Steve Bruce the frontrunner to replace the axed Roberto Di Matteo.

In other Aston Villa transfer news, Steve Bruce has been quizzed about potential problems steaming from Birmingham job.