Aston Villa enter race for 24-year-old midfielder available on a free - report
By Derek Smithson
Aston Villa are interested in signing Barnsley midfielder Josh Scowen, according to a report.
The Sun claim that Villa are keen on the 24-year-old, who is available on a free this summer after rejected a new deal at Oakwell.
It is understood that he wants to join a side that can fight for promotion from the Championship, with Villa and Fulham alerted to his attention.
Meanwhile, the report details that Wolves and Brentford have made contact with the player and are preparing a package for his signature.
The four teams chasing Scowen are believed to be preparing wages of £9,000-a-week for the central midfielder, with Villa boss told he has finances available to spend.
Subscribe to Football Insider TV now
Villa will be looking to bounce back to the Premier League after a disappointing 13th-placed finish in the Championship and have promotion expert Bruce at the helm.
The Midlands giants are set to be regarded as one of the pre-season favourites after a strong end to the season and are already looking at improvements to their squad.
Scowen played an important role in the Barnsley side this season and was an ever-present in their starting XI, featuring in 44 games last season.
The central midfielder is strong in possession and a controlling figure in the middle of the park, while also possessing a goal threat with three goals and three assists last season.
Football Insider verdict:
Villa may need to bolster their squad if they are to achieve their goal of promotion next year and picking up the reliable Scowen on a free could be a smart piece of business. The 24-year-old has proven himself in the Championship to be a safe pair of hands and would provide competition in the middle of the Park. They do already have the likes of Mile Jedinak, Henri Lansbury, Conor Hourihane and Birkir Bjarnason competing for a spot, but Bruce will need the numbers during the course of a whole season. Scowen seems adamant on achieving promotion next year and a move to Villa could be his best chance.
In other Aston Villa transfer news, they are confident of securing deals for £19million-rated duo.