Aston Villa want four more deadline-day transfers after Hogan - reports
By Will Butcher
Steve Bruce is looking to offload four Aston Villa first-team stars on deadline day as they close in on the signing of Brentford’s Scott Hogan, according to reports.
Sky Sports claim that Hogan is set to undergo a medical after a bid of £15million was accepted by Championship rivals Brentford, ahead of a move to the Midlands giants.
The Mail now report on their transfer news blog (January 31, 1.01pm) that Bruce is looking to sell Tommy Elphick, Gabby Agbonlahor, Ross McCormack and Gary Gardner before the Tuesday night cut-off.
Villa are looking to trim their wage bill by offloading the quartet, as owner Tony Xia looks to keep on top of his side’s finances.
It is believed that Nottingham Forest are looking to tie up a double deal for both summer signing McCormack and former Forest midfielder Gardner.
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A £12million purchase, McCormack has failed to hit the heights expected of him and is now expected to leave after falling out with Bruce over an issue with the gates at his mansion.
Villa have brought in three new central midfielders in Henri Lansbury, Conor Hourihane and Birkir Bjarnason, and that could see Gardner join Aaron Tshibola in leaving.
Defender Elphick, a £3million summer recruit from Bournemouth, has fallen out of the first team reckoning behind first-choice pair Nathan Baker and captain James Chester and could now jump ship.
Agbonlahor is believed to be on around £55,000 a week according to the Daily Star, and Bruce is reportedly keen to get his huge pay cheque off the wage bill.
Football Insider verdict:
With Villa bringing in a whole host of new players this month, with Hogan set to join Sam Johnstone, James Bree and the three midfielders, Bruce now has a huge squad on his hands. Selling players is therefore vital, with Xia looking to save some of his money. Elphick and McCormack have flopped since moving to Villa Park for a combined £15million, and moving them on could see Villa look to recoup some of that transfer fee. Gardner has impressed this season, and he should only be allowed to leave on loan to gain game time as he could still offer the Midlands giants something, but Agbonlahor should be allowed to leave as soon as possible in order to save money.
In other Aston Villa transfer news, this is what Hogan said about Villa at the starts of the season.