By support

29th Dec, 2016 | 4:54pm

Report: Championship side emerge as Aston Villa rivals for goal machine, valued at £12m

By Harvey Byrne

Derby have joined Aston Villa in the hunt for Middlesbrough striker Jordan Rhodes, according to a report.

The Sun has claimed that mega-rich Rams owner Mel Morris will match Boro’s £12million valuation, leaving them as serious rivals to Villa for Rhodes’ signature.

It is stated that Steve Bruce has been looking to raise funds for the 26-year-old by moving out players.

However, the Derby ownership are ready to give boss Steve McClaren the go-ahead to launch a bid for the free-scoring striker.

It is reported that the north east side will sell to the club that meets their demands, with Derby preparing to begin bidding with a huge offer.

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But, Villa do have a trump card and that is striker Rudy Gestede, who is a £6million target for Aitor Karanka’s Premier League side

Rhodes has played just six times for Middlesbrough in the top flight this season without returning a goal.

However, he does boast a very impressive record in the English second tier with an incredible 91 strikes in 189 appearances.

Bruce will now be drafting up targets who he thinks can help improve Aston Villa from their current 10th place and Rhodes would certainly be a move in the right direction.

Football Insider verdict:

Rhodes could be the player to fire Aston Villa back into the Premier League and they should make sure they secure his signing at all costs. The striker is not good enough for the top flight and he would very much be a short-term signing. However, rightly or wrongly in modern day football the fee paid out for Rhodes will mean very little in comparison to the Premier League riches. It is imperative that Villa return to the top flight at the first time of asking to avoid a rot in the Football League, which has gobbled up many ex-Premier League club’s in the past. Therefore, it is vital that Villa beat Derby to the signing of Rhodes in January.

In other Aston Villa transfer news, a Premier League side has made a late offer to Villa linked 23-year-old.