EXCLUSIVE By Pete O’Rourke

Aston Villa striker Scott Hogan is a loan target for Championship rivals Sheffield United, Football Insider sources understands.

Hogan has yet to feature for Villa in their opening two Championship wins over Hull and Wigan and was not even named in the matchday squad for either game.

A well-placed source has told Football Insider that United are working on a deal to land Hogan before the loan window closes on August 31.

Villa boss Steve Bruce is also in the market for striking reinforcements and any new arrival could push Hogan further down the pecking order at Villa Park.

The news has alerted Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder, who is looking to strengthen his squad before the transfer window slams shuts at the end of the month.

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United have already brought in Brighton midfielder Oliver Norwood on loan until January with the move to become permanent after that and Wilder is now exploring a move for Hogan as he looks to add to his side’s attacking options.

Hogan has struggled to hold down a regular spot in the Villa side since his arrival from Brentford in January 2017 for a fee reported by BBC Sport to be £12million.

The Republic of Ireland international has scored only seven goals in 51 appearances for Villa and United could be willing to offer him an escape route from the Midlands if they can agree a loan deal with Villa.

In other Aston Villa news, Football Insider can reveal that a 6ft 4in Villa giant is close to joining a London club.