By Wayne Veysey

11th Dec, 2016 | 7:15am

Bruce to blow rivals out of the water to sign PL goal machine in January - report

By Harry Sykes

Aston Villa are ready to blow their rivals out of the water to land Middlesbrough striker Jordan Rhodes in the January transfer window, according to a report.

The Sun claim that Villa manager “will be backed” in his pursuit of the prolific front man and “will not give up the chase easily”.

It is said that Rhodes is open to a loan move to Sheffield Wednesday in January as he admires their open, attacking style of play.

But Villa are keen to sign Rhodes permanently from the Premier League club to add an extra layer of complication to the players’ plans next month.

It has been widely reported that Middlesbrough are willing to listen to offers of £10million for Rhodes, who only joined the Premier League side in January of this year after extensive negotiations with his former club Blackburn.

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Rhodes has a formidable scoring record in the Championship and in League One with former clubs Blackburn and Huddersfield.

Rhodes struck 84 times in 169 appearances for Blackburn and was even more prolific at Huddersfield, where his 86 goals came in just 147 matches.

At Middlesbrough, the Scotland international has mainly been on the fringes of the team since his January move, but has still netted six times in 22 matches.

Football Insider verdict:

Bruce is a shrewd operator in the transfer market and he knows that Rhodes is exactly the kind of player who can catapult Villa back into the top flight at the first attempt. The striker may be a level below Premier League class but there is no doubting his track record in the Championship. At that level, he is a goal machine. Villa’s summer transfer policy was somewhat scattergun and many of those signings have not come off, with the likes of Ross McCormack flopping dismally. But a big-money move for Rhodes is not just logical, but necessary. He can provide the goals to restore the club’s Premier League status.

In other Aston Villa transfer news, this is why Bruce must be ruthless and sell this hopeless first teamer next month.