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The Hit List: The Aston Villa transfer rumour roundup

Who are Villa linked to? Who are the rumoured buys? What’s a bunch of lies and what isn’t? You’re about to find out

Aston Villa v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

The January transfer window opens in a few weeks, and that means one thing - lies. Every single time this damned window opens, clubs panic buy - but outlets also report anything and everything that they can. It’s basically the Summer transfer window’s Deadline Day dragged out in a full month. Injuries, losses and bad form mean that clubs can change the course of their season buy bringing in new players. Their scouting and refined methods of recruitment are crystal clear, sometimes, but to everyone else, we have to deal with ITK accounts and newspapers chasing clicks.

So, armed with a Google search of ‘Aston Villa Transfer Rumors’ - I am prepared to read everything reported thus far, so you don’t have to. I’ll be assessing each rumour and its validity based on Villa’s reported transfer budget of £3.64 and what Villa actually need. Each report will be rated out of 10 - with 10 being a likely signing and a rating of 1 being a ‘reach’ of the highest order. I might revisit this at the end of the window in February to see what actually went down.

Lewis Grabban

Sunderland v Reading - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images,

Lewis Grabban is a striker enjoying a bit of peak form right now. On-loan to Chris Coleman’s Sunderland, he’s worked a bit of magic for a club in desperate need of a special something. His parent club, Bournemouth have no need of him - and a transfer move would cut his loan short. However, he’s not the type of person that Villa want to go for. He’s good enough for the team - but with Scott Hogan, Keinan Davis and Callum O’Hare hanging around the striker, you want to move for someone of true quality - on another plane to what we currently have. That being said - it’s a likely move as it wouldn’t be too expensive for Villa.

Reported by: Alan Nixon (of The Sun)

Rating: 6/10

Rolando Aarons

Newcastle United v Watford - Premier League Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

The Newcastle wide-man hasn’t featured a great deal for The Toon. However, good he is (good enough to be linked with a Premier League move), Aston Villa probably want to avoid investing heavily on the flanks (one of their stronger areas) - and could ideally do with an additional centre-half or a class striker.

Reported by: The Daily Mirror

Rating: 5/10

Oli McBurnie

Swansea City v Manchester United - Carabao Cup Fourth Round Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Of every move that Villa could make, a loan deal will always be the most likely option due to the restrictions of Financial Fair Play. McBurnie wouldn’t cost Villa a lot, wouldn’t fuss Villa’s side around and would likely feature to ease the burden on Keinan Davis and Scott Hogan. There’s a lot to like about this move. However, with Rushian Hepburn-Murphy on his way back from injury, you’d have to wonder if bringing in a another young forward would be worth it. The answer to that? If it helps Villa, then it is a move that needs to be made - and this move wouldn’t hamper the Villans at all.

What’s more, McBurnie seemed to confirm the move on his Instagram feed, before hastily removing his comments. This move is all but nailed on, based on what we have seen so far, but still - you never know what could happen. Villa need to be looking for experience, even more so if a loan move is their only option. Consider McBurnie as a failsafe. Likely to go ahead, but only if Villa fail to lure in a big target.

Reported by: The Express

Rating: 8/10

Chiedozie Ogbene

Irish Examiner

A growing name in Ireland, Chiedozie is a Cork lad currently making waves in the League of Ireland. While a move to Villa would be a step up, it wouldn’t hit them in the pocket too much - and it fits Villa’s ‘Villa Engine’ signing philosophy in the sense that he’s young, talented and keen to impress.

Reported by: Irish Examiner

Rating: 9/10

Alfredo Morelos

Rangers v Hibernian - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Alfredo Morelos has been hit and miss for Rangers - but recently it’s been more hit. He’s emulating Albert Adomah beyond the border for Glasgow Rangers and the ‘Gers man plays football in the style that Bruce loves - defending from the front with aggressive attacking and incredible instincts.

While the quality of the Scottish Premier League may be mocked by many, Rangers are still playing at a higher level than Villa - simply because there is a chance for European qualification. With Morelos finding his form, the Colombian might be priced out of a move to Aston Villa at this stage. Based on the potential asking price, there might be no way Villa can afford this man right now.

Reported by: The Scotsman

Rating: 4/10

Leonardo Ulloa

AFC Bournemouth v Leicester City - Premier League Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

Ulloa is a Championship hitman, unwanted by his club and the EXACT person Steve Bruce would want in his team. However, there’s almost no news out there except for complete guesswork by papers reporting on ‘who the fans want’. Just because Villa fans want him, doesn’t mean it will happen.

However, these things, especially when serious, don’t pick up steam until late on. Look at Villa’s moves for Conor Hourihane, Jonathan Kodjia and Scott Hogan as proof of that - when serious news on the moves wasn’t clear until a week or so before the signing. Ulloa is likely in the sense that he’s a good target. However, serious reports are yet to emerge. Keep an eye on this one.

Reported by: The Birmingham Mail

Rating: 6/10

Jack Marriott

Peterborough United v Northampton Town - Checkatrade Trophy Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images

17 goals, 30 games. Ever since moving to Posh in the Summer, Jack Marriott has been doing very well in League One. People who light up the lower leagues tend to get looked at by larger clubs, especially since Charlie Austin and Jamie Vardy proved that these moves can work very well for clubs who perform their due diligence. Marriott would be a mixture of the pair, but lacks the height needed to be the threat that Austin is. However, he’s still proving to be a very good goalscorer - and could be exactly what Villa need. The thing is, isn’t he basically Scott Hogan? A smaller Scott Hogan? Still, Villa aren’t exactly ‘smart buyers’ and if Jack can do a job for Villa, they will absolutely go for him. Peterborough’s chairman did laugh off the interest in the striker, but so did Bristol City’s chairman when Villa went in for Jonathan Kodjia

Reported by: The Daily Mail

Rating: 6/10

Nahki Wells

Huddersfield Town v Sheffield Wednesday - Sky Bet Championship Play Off Semi Final: First Leg Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

Apparently Villa wanted this man in the summer, but the Bermudian moved to the other Clarets in the Premier League. Burnley are doing extremely well right now and Wells hasn’t seen the pitch so far for Dyche’s men, especially with Chris Wood in fine form. Things change rapidly for clubs though, and unexpected circumstances do occur - more so in winter. For this reason, you’d really think that Burnley would hold on to Nahki Wells just in case of injuries. However, with their fine form, there’s no reason why they can’t look to upgrade their squad in January and let Wells leave on loan.

Reported by: The Birmingham Mail

Rating: 6/10