By Amir Mir
Aston Villa have already clinched the January signing of Barnsley right-back James Bree, according to a picture leaked on Tuesday morning.
There has been no official announcement from either club but it now appears that Villa have pushed the transfer over the line following reports on Monday night that Bree had started the first stage of a medical at the club.
Villa’s official Snapchat account appeared to show the 19-year-old posing for pictures at the club’s Bodymoor Heath training headquarters, as cited by the unofficial Villa Report Twitter account.
— villareport (@villareport) January 24, 2017
The defender has been heavily linked with a move to the Midlands giants in the last week as part of a double deal with his Oakwell teammate Conor Hourihane.
Bree has been in tremendous form for his club this season which has seen interest in him rise with just six months remaining on his Barnsley deal.
He has made 22 appearances in all competitions for the Tykes this season, providing two assists during those matches.
Villa have already announced two signings in the January windows, playmaker Henri Lansbury from Nottingham for a fee of £3million and goalkeeper Sam Johnstone on loan from Manchester United.
Football Insider verdict:
The signing of Bree will be a massive coup for the club especially considering the hosts of Premier League sides that were interested in his signature. The right-back will now provide suitable competition for first team regular, Alan Hutton, who albeit is a hard worker and tough tackler, definitely needs someone to push him for a regular spot in the side. Not only that, the fee that has been reportedly agreed for Bree is an absolute steal for a teenager who has been hotly tipped to achieve big things in his career. Nonetheless, at this moment in time, Villa will have a player that both in the attacking and defensive department will provide some much-needed freshness to a team that is aiming to finish in the top six.
In other Aston Villa transfer news, this £50k-a-week club star has made a decision on his future at the club.