According to a report from The Sunday Mirror (15/04; page 61), West Brom have become the latest club to eye a move for Aston Villa defender Alan Hutton as they begin to prepare for life in the Championship.
The Baggies could be relegated as early as next weekend and with their next two fixtures pitting them against Manchester United and Liverpool, it certainly appears unlikely that Darren Moore's side will emerge from the latter clash with no chance of maintaining their top flight status beyond this season.
Unsurprisingly given their situation, The Sunday Mirror (15/04; page 61) reports that the club are already making plans for life in the second tier, with a move for Villa full-back Hutton on their radar.
The Mirror reports that the 33-year-old is already being pursued by Middlesbrough and Ipswich Town, and the Baggies are keen to make the decision on his future even more difficult for the Scotland international.
Transfermarkt shows that Hutton is out of contract at Villa Park at the end of the season. And while the Villans may be waiting until their future is decided before they consider offering to extend the defender's £30,000-a-week deal further - wage reported by the Daily Star - it certainly does appear that his seven year association with the club may be coming to an end.
Smart signing for West Brom?
Hutton may not be a marquee addition for the Baggies in the summer, but he would arguably be a decent signing for the club given that Allan Nyom has not stamped his authority on the right-back position at all this season, and that it would hardly be a surprise if keeping Kieran Gibbs on the opposite flank was too difficult for West Brom when the window opens.
Signing Hutton on a free would see the Baggies sign an experienced campaigner - who has been an important part of a promotion-chasing side this term - without hurting whatever transfer kitty they have to work with in the coming months, so it should perhaps come as little shock that West Brom are considering a move for one of their rival's players.