By Russell Edge
Championship sides Sunderland and Sheffield Wednesday are both eyeing up a move for Aston Villa defender Alan Hutton this summer, according to a report.
The Mirror claim on the live transfer blog on their website (Thursday, 13:14) that Wednesday are leading the hunt for the right-back but are closely followed by the Black Cats, as they look to return to the Premier League following their relegation last season.
Villa are said to be willing to let the 32-year-old depart if they receive an acceptable offer, with the 50-time-capped Scottish international having just a year left on his contract.
Since moving from Tottenham in 2011, Hutton has made 135 appearances across all competitions, while he has found himself shipped out on loan on no less than three occasions.
The experienced right-back also spent a temporary spell at prospective suitors Sunderland while he was still at Spurs back in 2010.
Football Insider verdict
Hutton appears to have an awful lot of competition at right-back for the upcoming season, and that could seal his fate. Ritchie De laet and James Bree both seem to be Steve Bruce’s first choice options, while he also has Micah Richards and James Chester who can fill in. Meanwhile, the likes of John Terry and Glenn Whelan are likely to be on big wages, and the club will need to go about getting rid of players to trim the budget. With just a year left on his contract, Hutton is likely up on the list of those to be offloaded, and it is likely that he will see many more follow him out the door at Villa Park.
In other Aston Villa news, this attacker is being spied by a fellow Championship side.