With one defender potentially coming in, another looks to be set to depart, as a trio of English clubs are eyeing up a move for Villa right back Matthew Lowton.
According to both the Birmingham Mail and The Daily Telegraph; Norwich City, Derby County and Middlesbrough are all interested in signing Lowton. It is not altogether surprising to see so much interest in the player, he was likely one of those players that Sherwood was referring to when he said:
"Some of the boys have been told already they won't be here next year or they can go and find other clubs.
"We need to add to the squad, but not only that, the group of players in there need to get better. We need to change some of their mentalities. Because they are quite used to losing football matches, which is not a good habit."
Brought in by Paul Lambert in 2012, Lowton featured prominently in his first season at the club, starting 37 games and scoring twice, once of which being a wonder goal against Stoke City. However, since Alan Hutton's career revival and Leandro Bacuna's transition to fullback, opportunities have been limited for Lowton, despite a brief spell at left back following injuries to Kieran Richardson and Aly Cissokho. Considering this, it is likely that Matt Lowton will indeed move on this summer, and, all three clubs linked with him make sense.
The Derby Telegraph seem to think that Middlesbrough are the favourites and this move would give him a chance to rebuild his confidence in a promotion chasing side. If he does sign for either Championship side and they get promoted next season, the Matt Lowton Villa will potentially end up playing against will be significantly different to the one we've seen this year.
There is no mention of a transfer fee in either of the rumours, but a fee around the £2-3 million mark sounds about right, given that the fee Villa paid for him was in this region. In terms of the validity of the sources, both The Birmingham Mail and The Telegraph are reasonably reliable and it seems reasonable enough for me to believe it. Personally, I believe that Lowton has a part to play in the club moving forward, but it looks like his claret and blue days could be numbered.