Chase on for Aston Villa star Gary Gardner

Gary Gardner

HITC Sport understands a number of clubs are eyeing a move for Aston Villa midfielder Gary Gardner in January

Aston Villa midfielder Gary Gardner is a target for a number of clubs in the January transfer window, HITC Sport understands from sources close to the club.

Gardner impressed out on loan last season in spells at Brighton and Hove Albion and Nottingham Forest.

The highly-rated midfielder made 38 appearances during the two loan stints and his performances caught the eye in the Championship.

Gardner was handed a new three-year deal at Villa last summer as reward for his progress and was expected to play a key role under Tim Sherwood for Villa this season.

However, since Sherwood's departure Gardner has not featured under new Villa boss Remi Garde despite Villa's struggles at the wrong end of the table.

Gardner's lack of playing time has alerted a host of sides to the midfielder's possible availability when the transfer window reopens next month.

Gardner, who has been capped by England from U17 level through to U21, is thought to be keen on playing on a regular basis and he is sure to have no shortage of offers come January.

Register for ASTON VILLA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch