By Amir Mir
Steve Bruce has said that Aston Villa lost out on Leicester City’s Jeffrey Schlupp because of the “lure of the Premier League and the wages”.
Sky Sports claims that the 24-year-old midfielder is set to make a £12million switch to Crystal Palace after a fee was agreed with the Foxes.
Championship side Villa are looking to strengthen their squad as they aim to return to the top flight this season.
They have sold striker Rudy Gestede to Middlesbrough and have brought in Manchester United goalkeeper Sam Johnstone so far during the January transfer window.
They failed in their bid to bring Schlupp to Villa Park though, and Steve Bruce explained why in the Birmingham Mail.
“Schlupp for example we tried but unfortunately the lure of the Premier League and the wages they can offer means we’ve lost out,” said Bruce.
“I always knew we had the Premier League to deal with and it was not just one club, it was three.
“It is a wonderful draw that we have that people would maybe step down from the Premier League to play for us.
“But there are times when you lose out too. If you have a chance to play in the Premier League people want to play there and I can understand that.
“But [Schlupp] is the sort of quality that we’re looking for. It’s disappointing [not to get him] but we move on.”
Villa are seven points adrift of the final play-off spot which is currently being held by Yorkshire outfit Sheffield Wednesday.
They will be looking to close that gap at the weekend when they take on their Midlands rivals Wolves at Molineux.
Bruce is short of attacking options as senior duo Jonathan Kodjia and Jordan Ayew are currently on international duty with their respective nations where they will take part in the Africa Cup of Nations.
It means the only senior strike duo currently at the club are Ross McCormack and Gabby Agbonlahor – both have scored three goals between them this term.
In other Aston Villa transfer news, supporters react on Twitter to £12million rated striker speculation.