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Villa rumours for January - Rhodes/McCormack swap, Hull goalkeeper targeted

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As the dark days of December draw in, football fans hearts are warmed by only one thing - and it's not the love and joy of Christmas. It is, of course, wild transfer speculation.

And while being in the Championship means that Aston Villa may miss out this year on some of the perennial favourites - the latest Brazilian wonderkid, ageing superstar looks for last payday, fan favourite makes belated return (c'mon Milner, we won't make you play at left-back...) - there's still a fair few Claret and Blue rumours going around.

Ross McCormack swap for Jordan Rhodes?

This is the big one, though where exactly it's come from is hard to tell. It may just be a logical (?) leap from the persistent Rhodes to Villa rumour and some speculation that Steve Bruce doesn't really see McCormack in his plans.

There's no evidence to it beyond the fact that neither player is getting much game time and they play in the same position, so maybe a swap would help all round. Technically Villa would be swapping a £12 million signing for a £9 million one, but they'd also be swapping a 30 year-old for a 26 year-old, so maybe it all comes out even in the end.

It would be harsh on McCormack, who started his Villa career reasonably brightly but got  bogged down under Roberto Di Matteo and then injured. On the other hand, if McCormack is behind Gabby Agbonlahor in the pecking order at Villa, he might well be better off taking any escape route on offer.

Bruce eyes reunion with Hull goalkeeper Allan McGregor

A possibly more sensible suggestion from Scottish newspaper The Daily Record links Villa to Hull keeper Allan McGregor, who was Bruce's regular keeper in their promoted side last year.

He's been ruled out by injury for the first half of this season, but would be coming back to fitness in the New Year, possibly just in time to offer experienced competition to Pierluigi Gollini in Villa goal. The young Italian has not quite cemented his place in the side, with impressive shot-stopping alternating with the occasional spill and thrill in the box.

Stay tuned for the next load of January rumours and let us know what you think of these ones below!