Alan Hutton has been linked with a move away from Aston Villa this month, with Middlesbrough boss Tony Pulis keen to make the 33-year-old his first signing on Riverside, according to The Mirror (live transfer blog, 08.45am).
But it appears that Villa boss Steve Bruce is more open to the departure of another of his right-backs this month. While Hutton has been a regular in the starting XI, the same cannot be said of James Bree who has found himself tumbling down to third in the pecking order behind the experienced Scot and summer signing Ahmed Elmohamady.
Bree, who joined from Barnsley a year ago, has started just one league game all season.
And the Birmingham Mail states that Bruce is open to the idea of letting the 20-year-old leave on loan this month in order to get some much needed game-time under his belt. It is understood that the Midlands giants would rather farm the youngster out to a Championship club sitting lower down the table.
Such a move could prove an excellent one for all parties.
Bree would get further experience in the second tier, having only played a few months of Championship football for Barnsley before being snapped up by Villa for a fee of around £3 million, as reported by the Birmingham Mail.
And with Hutton’s contract expiring in the summer, the hope will be that Bree can return to Villa Park ready to replace the long-serving veteran.