By Amir Mir
Aston Villa will make a £4 million move for QPR goalkeeper Alex Smithies and could raise the funds by selling Jordan Ayew, according to a report.
The Mirror claims manager Steve Bruce wants a new No. 1 keeper and is keeping an eye on 26-year-old shot-stopper Smithies.
Villa’s regular first-choice keeper this season has been summer signing Pierluigi Gollini, but he has produced a number of costly mistakes.
As a result, Bruce dropped the 21-year-old for their last Championship fixture when they picked up a 1-0 win at QPR, with Smithies in goal at the other end.
Steve Bruce opted to play 32-year-old Mark Bunn instead in only his second start in the Championship this season.
It is said Bruce wants to boost and shake up his squad for January and believes signing a top keeper next month will help them challenge for the promotion places.
Additionally, it is also claimed that the money could be raised by selling Villa attacker Ayew who is on the radar of teams from China and the Premier League.
Smithies has played 22 league games for QPR this season, keeping four clean sheets.
Football Insider verdict
One thing is for sure, Steve Bruce needs to add a new keeper to his squad when the January transfer window opens next month. Smithies is an experienced player with a number of seasons in the Championship under his belt and would fit Villa’s ambitions for a promotion push. He would bring a more calming influence to Bruce’s defensive backline and would be a better option than Gollini and backup keeper Mark Bunn. We think Bruce should definitely make a move for the QPR player, especially if he can secure his services for £4m. With QPR struggling, Smithies might be tempted to make the move to a club with real play-off hopes.
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