Embed from Getty Images
Villa are heavily linked with a swoop for James McCarthy, with the Everton midfielder not looking to be part of the Toffees plans.
McCarthy, who suffered a horror leg break last January, would reasonably be expected to be lacking in match sharpness. Indeed, his only outing this term has been in a Premier League 2 fixture in October.
The 28 year old defensive midfielder would be expected to join on loan, with a stumbling block possibly being his reported £50,000 per week salary.
Villa would be one of a number of interested clubs, with Premier League Bournemouth as well as West Brom also in the hunt.
Dean Smith is likely considering his defensive midfield cover in this window, with Glenn Whelan struggling beyond 70 minutes and Mile Jedinak’s increasing injury proneness.
A number of clubs, including Villa, have been strongly linked with rising Watford talent Ryan Cassidy.
Despite being just 17 years old, the youngster has caught the eye in the Under-23 league, with 23 goals to his name.
Additionally, the fact that Watford have yet to tie Cassidy to a long term deal is beginning to attract suitors.
The Republic of Ireland youth international has just 18 months left on his deal at Vicarage Road remaining. Villa will face tough competition for his signature, with both Everton and Derby known admirers.
Embed from Getty Images
Similar to the Romaine Sawyers transfer rumour, that of Rico Henry won’t go away either.
The former England youth international was coached by Dean Smith at both Walsall and Brentford, indeed Smith took the defender with him to his former club.
Despite being one of the most highly regarded prospects in the lower leagues, Henry’s development has been hampered by injury since moving to Brentford. This has resulted in just twenty five appearances in his last two full seasons.
The 21 year old left back does catch the eye though and one wonders if he could be kept injury free whether he represents an astute acquisition.
Further, despite being a traditional full-back, Henry has the ability to switch to a more modern wing back role, the latter likely appealing to Smith’s preferred style of play.
Whilst rumours are rife regarding Villa’s interest the club will likely need to act swiftly to avoid raising awareness amongst other sides. A source confirmed to The Villa Underground that Henry remains highly regarded as a prospect within the game and has courted interest previously from clubs including Tottenham Hotspur, who hosted the youngster at their training facility.