Has report given Aston Villa boost in pursuit of Joe Bryan?

Steve Bruce, Manager of Aston Villa smiles prior to The Emirates FA Cup Third Round match between Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa at White Hart Lane on January 8, 2017 in London, England.

Aston Villa are planning a move to sign left-back Joe Bryan from Championship rivals Bristol City if they earn promotion to the Premier League.

Joe Bryan of Bristol City applaudes the fans at the final whistle during the Sky Bet Championship match between Bristol City and Fulham at Ashton Gate on February 21, 2018 in Bristol,...

Joe Bryan has been arguably the best left-back in the Championship this season. But unfortunately for the 24-year-old, his sterling efforts might not be enough with Bristol City dropping out of the play-off positions ahead of the run-in.

Lee Johnson’s Robins were shaping up to be a surprise promotion contender this season, but their form has dipped since the turn of the year. Bristol City have won just two of their last 13 Championship games and, as a result, have now fallen to eight place, three points adrift of the play-off positions.

According to the Bristol Post, this should be good news to any clubs hoping to lure Bryan away from Ashton Gate in the summer. The local lad has spent his entire career with Bristol City but, the report claims, Bryan could be on his way out if the club fail to challenge for promotion towards the end of a current campaign.

Joe Bryan of Bristol City battles with Luke Freeman of Queens Park Rangers during the Sky Bet Championship match between Bristol City and Queens Park Rangers at Ashton Gate on January 27,...

This is a boost, then, for Aston Villa, who must have been wondering just how difficult it would be to lure Bryan away from the club he signed his first professional deal with seven years ago.

The Sun reported at the weekend that Villa had sent chief scout Tony Coton to watch Bryan, who has three goals and two assists in the Championship this season.

Steve Bruce, Manager of Aston Villa smiles prior to The Emirates FA Cup Third Round match between Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa at White Hart Lane on January 8, 2017 in London, England.

And it is understood that Villa could make a move for Bryan if they are promoted this season. With the Mirror claiming that he is worth £7 million, the left-back would probably be too expensive for a Villa side restricted by Financial Fair Play should they stay in the Championship.

In more positive news for Bristol City, however, the Post claims that fans will not have to worry about the future of influential centre-back Aden Flint, with the ink still drying on his new contract.

Register for ASTON VILLA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch