Bruce claims Premier League club are in talks to sign Aston Villa ace Rudy Gestede, £6.5m fee alleged

Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce

Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce has confirmed that Rudy Gestede is in talks with a Premier League club, believed to be Middlesbrough.

Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce has told the Birmingham Mail that striker Rudy Gestede is in talks with an unnamed Premier League club, believed to be Middlesbrough.

Villa drew 1-1 at home with Leeds United at Villa Park on Thursday night, as Jonathan Kodjia's late penalty cancelled out Pontus Jansson's opener for the visitors.

The result leaves Aston Villa in ninth place in the Championship table, with just two defeats in 13 games under new manager Bruce.

Aston Villa manager Steve BruceAston Villa manager Steve Bruce

Bruce will be hoping to strengthen his squad in January in order to mount a push for the play-off places, but a player appears to be heading out of Villa Park ahead of the transfer window opening.

Earlier this week, The Guardian reported that Villa striker Rudy Gestede was on the verge of making a £6.5million move to Premier League side Middlesbrough, with a three-year deal reportedly on the table for the Benin international.

Aston Villa's Rudy Gestede celebrates scoring their second goalAston Villa's Rudy Gestede celebrates scoring

Gestede, 28, joined Villa from Blackburn Rovers in the summer of 2015, and hit six goals in all competitions last season, but has struggled to nail down a regular place in Bruce's Villa side this season.

The powerful target man has mostly served as a substitute of late, and whilst he's hit four goals, he's started just eight Championship games for Villa, coming off the bench ten times.

Gestede came on for just 12 minutes against Leeds, and manager Bruce told the Birmingham Mail after the final whistle that Gestede is indeed talking to a Premier League club about a January move, and his departure could allow Villa to sign a defender or midfielder.

"I do believe there's a Premier League club talking to him,” said Bruce. “I will probably know more tonight. That's all I can tell you at the moment. I've got six centre forwards so I've probably got to sell one to bring in another defender or midfielder,” he added.

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