Bristol City’s larger than life centre-back Aden Flint is reportedly at the centre of a tug-of-war between Aston Villa and Derby County.

Derby County and Aston Villa may owe their inability to trouble the Championship play-off positions more to a less than impressive attacking record rather than a tendency to ship goals at the other end.

Yet, with both the pre-season promotion favourites throwing away countless points thanks to a tendency to collapse under pressure, it makes sense that they would both be willing to pay £5 million for Bristol City’s 6ft 6ins man mountain Aden Flint, The Sun reports.

The 27-year-old has been an influential figure at Ashton Gate for a number of seasons, netting 14 League One goals in their 2014/15 title winning season while also providing the platform for two successful Championship survival bids.

And Bristol City manager Lee Johnson admitting that Bristol City may be powerless to prevent Flint from leaving if a club met their valuation, as reported by The Sun, will raise hope among Villa and Derby. After all, the Championship big-hitters are hardly shy about splashing out in the transfer market.

Though you could understand why Derby fans in particular may be a little wary. After all, the club has spent huge sums on a number of players in recent years, only to be left somewhat underwhelmed.

Matej Vydra (below), Nick Blackman, Danny Butterfield and Jason Shackell all fall into that category.

Therefore, the jury is still out on the potential signing of Flint – especially with a £5 million price tag hanging round his neck.

In other news, 'World class, massive': Some fans blown away by £4m Newcastle player today