Date: 11th December 2018 at 4:00pm
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EXCLUSIVE By Pete O’Rourke

Aston Villa are lining up a January move for Brentford midfielder Romaine Sawyers, Football Insider sources understands.

Villa boss Dean Smith is keen to add some energy and creativity to his midfield in January and has targeted a move for former charge Sawyers.

The 27-year-old is entering the final 18 months of his contract at Brentford and the Bees would not welcome any interest in him as they look to try and keep their best players at Griffin Park.

A well-placed source has told Football Insider that Villa are expected to be active in next month’s transfer window as Smith looks to bring in some of his own signings as he aims to make a push for promotion to the Premier League in the second half of the campaign.

Smith knows all about Sawyers having signed him and worked with him during his time in charge of Brentford.

Sawyers has established himself as one of the best attacking midfielders in the Championship since joining Brentford from Walsall in the summer of 2016.

Villa are currently in eighth spot in the Championship table, four points outside the play-off places and as well as a midfielder Smith would like to bring in a new central defender in January.

In other Aston Villa news, the club have made a move to sign a Sheffield Wednesday ace as talks over a deal have begun.