By Harry Sykes

Aston Villa have been handed a major boost in their pursuit of Brentford striker Scott Hogan, according to a reliable journalist.

The Midlands giants have been linked with a January swoop for the Championship goal machine as manager Steve Bruce aims to reinforce his front line for the second half of the season.

The Sun correspondent Tom Barclay, who is the newspaper’s Football League transfer expert, made the revelation on his personal Twitter account on Thursday morning that Brentford “are set to cash in on Hogan” next month.

Barclay reports that Villa are keen on sealing a deal for the front man, while Premier League club Swansea are also keeping close tabs on him.

Barclay does not state how much it would cost to entice Hogan from Griffin Park but he is out of contract next summer and could be available for a relatively bargain price.

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The 24-year-old is the third leading scorer in the Championship with 13 goals from 22 matches this season, placing him behind only Newcastle’s Dwight Gayle (17) and Brighton’s Glenn Murray (14) in the league’s marksmen charts.

Hogan joined Brentford from Rochdale in the summer of 2014 and has an outstanding Championship record of 20 goals from 30 matches.

In other Aston Villa transfer news, the club have agreed a transfer that is set to be completed on 1 January.