By Harry Sykes
Ross McCormack has four weeks to save his Aston Villa career, according to a report.
The Daily Mail claim the Scotland international is in a race against time to convince manager Steve Bruce that he should be part of his long-term plans.
It is said that Bruce “has designs on bringing in another forward in January” even though Villa already have an array of senior attackers in their ranks including Jonathan Kodjia, Rudy Gestede, Jordan Ayew, Gabriel Agbonlahor and McCormack.
McCormack was signed from Fulham in the summer for £12million deal in a then Championship record before Villa beat it by £3million a few weeks later with the signing of Kodjia.
The 30-year-old began the season in the team but struggled for form and his return of two goals and one assist from 14 appearances in all competitions is well below expectations.
McCormack has been frozen out of the side under Bruce, who has overseen a revival since replacing Roberto Di Matteo at the helm, and has not started for the club since 5 November.
The Mail report that McCormack could be sacrificed in January to help offset the arrival of a new striker, with Jordan Rhodes of Middlesbrough among those being linked to the Midlands big hitters.
Publicly, Bruce has stressed that McCormack remains part of his plans and could have a major role to play later in the season.
In other Aston Villa transfer news, the club lead the race to sign a £10m-rated ace in January, with Bruce ready to offer a striker in part-exchange.