Report: Derby and Norwich enter race for Aston Villa defender Matthew Lowton

Trinity Road Stand - Aston Villa

The right-back has been linked with a move to Middlesbrough since the end of Villa's campaign.

Middlesbrough will face competition from both Derby County and Norwich City in their bid to sign Aston Villa right-back Matthew Lowton, according to the Telegraph.

Lowton, 25, joined Villa from Sheffield United in the summer of 2012 for a fee believed to be around £3 million and would go on to make 69 total appearances for the club over the next two seasons.

However, the Chesterfield-native fell out of favour with former manager Paul Lambert ahead of the 2014-15 campaign, as positional rival Alan Hutton earned a surprise recall from the wilderness.

He still managed to feature 13 times last term due to injuries, while impressing during a four-game stretch spent deputising at left-back in March, but both Hutton and the versatile Leandro Bacuna remain above him in the pecking order.

With new boss Tim Sherwood now set to revamp his squad in his first transfer window in charge, several first-teamers are reported to be heading for the exit door, including the ex-Blades prospect.

Middlesbrough, who were also linked with Lowton in August [h/t Daily Mail], had been touted as the front-runners for his signature earlier this week following last season’s right-back crisis, but Derby and Premier League-bound Norwich have since emerged as rival suitors.

The Rams, who appointed former Real Madrid assistant Paul Clement as their new head coach this week, are also looking to complete a deal for fellow Villa misfit Andreas Weimann, while soon-to-be free agent Darren Bent could also return to the iPro Stadium after scoring 12 times in 17 games while on loan from the claret and blues last term.

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