By Will Butcher
Tony Xia has revealed that Aston Villa are waiting for forward Rushian Hepburn-Murphy to sign a contract offered to him.
The 18-year-old academy product has just six months remaining on his current Villa Park deal and his future is in doubt as the January transfer window approaches.
Posting on his personal Twitter account, Xia told fans that an offer has been made to Hepburn-Murphy and wants the youngster to sign the deal to “show his determination” to be at Villa Park.
We're waiting RHM sign the new contract to show his determination to play for Villa before we can make more wishes to his future. https://t.co/xRvhACZUyq
— Dr. Tony Xia (@Dr_TonyXia) December 19, 2016
Villa’s number 29 will be free to talk to non-English clubs come January 1, if he chooses not to sign a new deal with the Midlands giants.
The Daily Record have claimed that Rangers have scouted the highly-rated youngster when playing for Villa’s Under-23 side, and manager Mark Warburton could look to pounce in less than a fortnight.
Hepburn-Murphy, who wears the number 29 shirt for the Midlands giants, made just his third first-team appearance this season in a cameo role against Championship leaders Newcastle back in September.
The striker is way down the pecking order under Steve Bruce, as Villa possess an abundance of strikers. Ross McCormack, Jonathan Kodjia, Jordan Ayew, Libor Kozak and Rudy Gestede all sit ahead of the teenager.
However, Hepburn-Murphy’s form with the development side has caught the attention of both Xia and manager Steve Bruce.
They have decided to offer the attacker a new deal after five goals in nine Premier League 2 matches, but all eyes are now on Hepburn-Murphy as he mulls over the decision to sign on the dotted line.
In other Aston Villa news, this striker could be about to leave Villa Park for around £7million.