By Alex Stevens

Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce has identified the three players he wants to sign in the January transfer window, according to a reliable journalist.

The Sun’s transfer expert Alan Nixon, who has a weekly transfer column in the paper, claimed on Twitter on Monday that the Villa boss is targeting Middlesbrough striker Jordan Rhodes, Norwich winger Robbie Brady next month and a “goalkeeper”

Replying to a question from a Villa supporter about Bruce’s window plans, Nixon suggested on his personal Twitter account that Bruce could even want more than three new men.

Bruce has stated that he is in the market for new signings in a bid to kickstart the club’s promotion charge.

Rhodes, who joined Boro from Blackburn in January, has been only a bit-part player at the Premier League club this season and could be sold next month.

Brady is a regular for Norwich but could be tempted by a move to Villa and to link up with Bruce, who managed him at Hull.

The club have also been linked with a number of keepers, including Sunderland’s Vito Mannone and Manchester United youngster Sam Johnstone.

Villa beat QPR 1-0 on Sunday to climb to 13th in the Championship table, which means they are six points and seven places behind sixth-placed Sheffield Wednesday.

The Midlands club have the benefit of Premier League parachute payments, which enables them to dig deeper than less well resourced second tier outfits.

In other Aston Villa transfer news, a Premier League club has joined the race to sign a Villa ace and a £10million striker could move to the Midlands giants in part-exchange.