Steve Bruce comments on report that Ross McCormack could be set for Aston Villa exit

Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce

It has been suggested this week that Villa could look to offload McCormack next month.

Aston Villa's Ross McCormack

Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce has commented on speculation that the club could look to offload Ross McCormack in the January transfer window, as reported by the Birmingham Mail.

A report from the Mirror earlier this week claimed that Villa could look to sell McCormack next month, despite having shelled out £12 million for the striker in August.

The 30-year-old Scot has been something of a peripheral figure since Bruce took over in mid-October, starting just two of the seven games under the former Hull City boss.

He has shown flashes of his obvious class at Championship level, but has only managed two goals in 13 appearances, an underwhelming return given the high price tag.

That has led to suggestions that he could be offloaded in next month's window as Bruce looks to re-balance the squad he inherited from Roberto di Matteo.

However, Bruce has moved to quash those rumours, and suggested that McCormack could come to the fore in the second half of the season when stars such as Jonathan Kodjia head to the Africa Cup of Nations for several weeks.

Aston Villa's Ross McCormack celebrates scoring their first goal

Bruce said, as reported by the Birmingham Mail: "It hasn’t really got off to the start he would have liked. It’s a long, hard season and we are only a third of the way through.

"There’s a long way to go. It could be the second part of the season that we see Ross. In January especially, when we lose two or three then he could be crucial."

McCormack will undoubtedly feel that he still has a big part to play in Villa's season as they strive for a play-off spot after their disappointing start to the season.

The former Leeds man has scored 118 goals in 320 Championship games in the last eight-and-a-half years, and is a high-class option to call upon in the second tier.

Ross McCormack celebrates with Jack Grealish after he scores Aston Villa's first goal

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