According to the Daily Mail, Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce was scheduled to hold talks about a move to sign Middlesbrough striker Jordan Rhodes following Thursday's game with Leeds United – but Derby County also want Rhodes.
Villa took on Leeds for the second time this month on Thursday evening, and left it late to claim a point as Jonathan Kodjia's 86th minute penalty cancelled out Pontus Jansson's opener for Leeds at Villa Park.
Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce
The result means Villa have lost just twice in 13 games under new manager Steve Bruce, and the Villa boss will be hoping to kick on towards the play-offs in 2017.
That may require new signings, and with Rudy Gestede set to join Middlesbrough (The Guardian), Bruce could look to bring in a new striker – especially given that Jordan Ayew and Jonathan Kodjia are set to head off to the Africa Cup of Nations with Ghana and Ivory Coast respectively.
Middlesbrough's Jordan Rhodes shoots at goal
Now, the Daily Mail report that the Villa boss was set to hold talks about a January move for Middlesbrough striker Jordan Rhodes, though it's unclear whether those discussions were held internally with the Villa board, or directly with Boro.
Rhodes, 26, became a Championship star by hitting 83 goals in 159 games for Blackburn Rovers, but struggled to hit the ground running with Middlesbrough following a January move to the Riverside Stadium, scoring six goals in 18 games to end last season.
The Scotland international has only started two league games this term though, and looks to be out of favour under Aitor Karanka, setting up the possibility of a January move away from Middlesbrough.
It's stated that Boro want to recoup the £11million they paid for Rhodes almost a year ago, but Villa aren't willing to pay that price, with the talks potentially surrounding a swap deal involving Gestede.
The report adds that Derby County are also keen to sign Rhodes, with Steve McClaren looking to bring in a proven goalscorer to aid his own play-off push, meaning we could see the Rams go head-to-head with Villa for Rhodes' signature.
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