By Russell Edge

8th Jan, 2018 | 9:26pm

Play-off rivals ready bargain swoop for Aston Villa stalwart - report

Aston Villa stalwart Alan Hutton is being lined up for a January transfer swoop by fellow Championship play-off hopefuls Middlesbrough, according to a report.
The Mirror claim on the live transfer blog on their website (07/01, 08:45) that Boro are keen on taking the 33-year-old full back to the Riverside in the current transfer window, with his contract situation meaning he is likely to be available for a bargain deal.
The defender has just six months remaining on his current deal at Villa Park, which is said to have piqued the interest of both Tony Pulis’ side as well as Scottish Premiership club Aberdeen in making a move for his services.
The 50-cap Scotland international has been a regular under Steve Bruce this season, with 19 appearances across all competitions, and has turned out a total of 154 times for the Villans, scoring a solitary goal.
Villa are currently sitting just inside the second tier play-off spots in fifth, with eighth placed Boro just three points behind.
Football Insider verdict
Steve Bruce will have been focusing on reinforcing his side during January as he looks to nail down a play-off spot this season, but he may well have an exit to deal with. Hutton’s contract situation may remain as it is until the club know which league they will be competing in next season, and to avoid losing out on a transfer fee he could well be on his way this month. However selling him to Boro would only strengthen their rivals while weakening themselves, so a move north of the border, with Aberdeen said to be interested, seems more likely at the moment. Still, Bruce may well decide to keep him, considering his important contribution during the first half of the campaign.
In other Aston Villa transfer news, the club have opened talks with an attacker over a potential loan deal for the second half of the season.

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