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Aston Villa are heating up the chase for Barnsley wonderkid James Bree

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Don’t heat it up too much though, because he may melt.

Barnsley v Northampton Town - EFL Cup Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images

Newspaper journalist Alan Nixon has revealed that Aston Villa are interested in securing Barnsley right-back James Bree.

Villa aren’t the only team ready to put money on the line for Bree. According to the Mirror, Tottenham, Manchester United, Arsenal, Manchester City, Southampton and West Ham are chasing the Barnsley prospect. Remember though, that Villa have been in this position before regarding transfers and can often find a way to get their man. However, the lure of Manchester City might be too much for Bree, who could find himself playing alongside former Barnsley prospect - John Stones.

Across his career, James Bree has made over 30 appearances in League One and the Championship for Barnsley and has played 17 games at right-back thus far in this season’s competition. Bree has also contributed two assists to a surging Barnsley team that occupy eight place in the table right now.

Interestingly enough, James Bree hasn’t collected a single booking this season. In fact, across his 58 appearances for Barnsley in all competitions, he has only collected one yellow card. This may suggest he is less prone to desperate challenges, much unlike Villa’s current duo of Alan Hutton and Micah Richards. The other side of this is that he may be reluctant to put it all on the line for the team.

It’s unlikely that Alan Hutton has a future at Aston Villa with his contract expiring and it does seem that Micah Richards’ career has tailed off - this means that if Villa can capture Bree, a right-back corps of Ritchie De Laet, James Bree and Leandro Bacuna represents almost an 100% upgrade over Hutton and Richards.