By Danny Wright
One-time England international John Ruddy has declared that he would like to join Aston Villa this summer.
The 30-year-old is currently available for free after he was released by Norwich at the end of his contract.
Villa are thought to be looking for a new goalkeeper this summer after Sam Johnstone returned to Manchester United after a successful loan spell in the West Midlands.
However the Daily Mail has recently reported that the 24-year-old is set to be the subject from Garry Monk’s Middlesbrough and is also attracting attention from West Brom and Leicester.
Ruddy was very highly-rated during the peak of his Norwich career, but performances waned last season as he was dropped from the No 1 spot.
However the shot-stopper is keen on helping Villa return to the Premier League.
When asked about whether he wanted to play for Steve Bruce’s side, he was quoted by the Mirror in their live transfer blog on Friday [10:31AM] as saying: “Well, it’s a massive club with a superb infrastructure.
“Everyone knows Villa should be in the Premier League and I would love to be a part of making that happen.”
Ruddy made 29 appearances across all competitions for the Canaries last season, who fell short in their bid to earn promotion from the Championship via the play-offs.
He kept an impressive ten clean sheets, and managed to shut-out Aston Villa in the two sides’ meeting at Carrow Road in mid-December which Norwich won 1-0.
Football Insider Verdict
Bruce certainly needs to add a new goalkeeper to his ranks this summer as it looks as though a second deal for Johnstone may just be out of his reach. Villa will be operating on a shoe-string budget so taking advantage of the free transfer market would be a good step to take. Ruddy is a superb goalkeeper, especially for Championship clubs because there are a few teams in the top-flight who would probably like to have him among their ranks. He has a lot of experience and will not cost a penny in transfer fees, plus he has already hailed Villa as a big club, so surely Bruce has to work with Tony Xia to strike up a deal for the ex-Norwich ace.