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6th Jan, 2017 | 1:19pm

Bruce reveals number of January signings he wants at Aston Villa

By Will Butcher

Steve Bruce is desperate to make three more signings at Aston Villa this month after bringing in goalkeeper Sam Johnstone.

Bruce is keen to bolster his side’s ranks this month as he looks to maintain his reputation as a promotion expert, by returning the Midlands giants to the Premier League in his first attempt.

Speaking on Friday ahead of Villa’s FA Cup clash against Tottenham, Bruce revealed that he would be delighted if his side managed to secure deals for three more players.

“The press have me down for about 35 players,” Bruce said, as quoted by Villa’s official Twitter account. “I have two or three targets in mind. If we get them over the line, that’s great.”

Johnstone signed from Manchester United this month as Bruce looked to solve his side’s goalkeeping dilemma after Pierluigi Gollini was dropped for number two Mark Bunn.

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With Jordan Ayew and Jonathan Kodjia both jetting off to take part at the African Cup of Nations, Bruce could look to add a striker to his ranks this month.

Middlesbrough hotshot Jordan Rhodes has been heavily reported as interesting Bruce’s side, with The Mirror claiming Villa have been quoted a figure of £10million for the 26-year-old.

Elsewhere, Sky Sports reported on their transfer centre blog (15:23, January 3) that Villa have also submitted a £3million bid for Nottingham Forest captain Henri Lansbury.

With Villa currently seven points off the playoffs in 12th place, investment is needed to boost Bruce’s chances of securing a fifth promotion from the second tier of English football.

In other Aston Villa transfer news, Brighton will not sell this midfielder despite his contract situation at the Amex Stadium.