As featured previously, Irish international Robbie Brady is hot property this transfer window.
Villa may have missed the boat in 2015 and now face stiff competition for the Norwich player as Crystal Palace and West Ham firm up their interest.
Norwich are in the un-envious position of having to sell to buy.
Palace, now under the management of disgraced former England boss Sam Allardyce have opened the bidding, seeing a £10 million pound starting offer rejected. High stakes indeed.
Whilst the battle is unsurprising, it would mark a blow to our recruitment prospects, with Premier League sides having the lure of top flight football.
This may well become a common frustration for many of our negotiations as January progresses.
One lure that Bruce may be able to offer is that he previously managed Brady at Hull. Hull bought Brady for £2.75m and the then Tigers boss labelled Norwich’s pursuit of the Irish international as “embarrassing”.
The eventual transfer fee to Carrow Road was in the region of £7m (Summer 2015).
The BBC’s Pat Murphy has also gone as far as to say that Brady is one which the Villa boss would prefer “above all”. That view apparently extends to include Nottingham Forest’s Henri Lansbury.
Listen & Subscribe – It’s totally FREE!
Another dimension to the Brady transfer may be the offer of Ross McCormack as part of the deal to Norwich.
Quite a sweetener indeed.
The reported swap deal would see £12 million rated McCormack (steep by most estimations) bring a premature and dramatic end to his Villa career.
Villa of course have the fall-back position of raising the stakes with a cash incentive over and above any player offer, with the vocal backing of new owner Xia and funds from the sale of Gestede.
Norwich had been amongst the favourites to sign the Scot during the 2016 summer transfer window. Therefore, it’s reasonable to assume that the offer of McCormack would merit consideration on the part of the Norfolk club.
Despite McCormack’s lack of form and early season injury, his goalscoring record at Championship level is difficult to readily dismiss.
Therefore, the question would have to be asked whether gambling on his form not recovering and giving him to a direct rival in the division would represent good business for Villa.
Villa have already sold striker Rudy Gestede to Middlesbrough for £6 million. Additionally, top scorer Jonathan Kodjia stands to miss up to 6 matches whilst at the Africa Cup of Nations.
As further illustration of the competition in the transfer market; Arsenal’s young full-back is heavily linked to remain in the top flight, likely opting for Crystal Palace.
Villa’s right back position is a known weak link with the limitations of Alan Hutton all too apparent. The long term injury suffered by new signing Ritchie De Laet did little to help matters.
However, it appears that despite early hope that Jenkinson would switch, at this stage a move to Villa Park appears off.