By Harry Sykes

Aston Villa have tabled an offer for Brentford playmaker Alan Judge in a bid to seal a January deal, according to a reliable journalist.

The Sun reported that Villa’s Championship rivals Newcastle will pay £10million to land the 27-year-old in the winter transfer window.

But Guardian journalist Ed Aarons has claimed on Twitter that Steve Bruce’s team are keen to land Judge for a bargain price as he works his way back to fitness after a broken leg.

Aarons reported on his personal Twitter account on Wednesday that Villa have offered £500,000 for Judge in an attempt to take advantage of his contract situation.

Judge is out of contract at the end of the season, when he can join another club on a free transfer, but this reported bid is £9.5million less than what Villa are seemingly prepared to offer.

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Reports emerged in the summer that Judge was in line to sign for Newcastle before the 31 August cut-off and the Chronicle’s chief football writer Lee Ryder revealed on his personal Twitter account that Judge was on his way to St. James’ Park for talks and a potential medical.

The Sun state that the deal did not go through because the move for the Irishman was delayed due to his recovery from a broken leg.

Judge has not played since suffering a double-leg fracture against Ipswich in April, but his manager Dean Smith has said he is closing in on a comeback.

The Republic of Ireland international came to prominence in England’s third tier, developing a reputation for being a goalscoring number 10 with League One outfit Notts County, where he scored 16 goals in his last two seasons before moving to Blackburn Rovers for around £300,000.

The 5ft 6in attacking midfielder, who has been nicknamed ‘the Irish Messi’, flopped at Ewood Park but rejuvenated his career by scoring an impressive 14 goals and supplying 12 assists in 38 league games last season for Brentford.

He has a fine Championship record of 24 goals and 33 assists from 140 appearances.

In other Aston Villa transfer news, the club have agreed the terms of a January striker deal.