Aston Villa could rival Leeds United for up-for-grabs Sunderland midfielder Liam Bridcutt, according to reports today.
Sunderland are desperate to remove Bridcutt from the books, with the midfielder equally keen to leave the Stadium of Light after spending the final six months of last season on loan at Leeds.
Since returning to the Academy of Light a fortnight ago, Bridcutt - along with Will Buckley, Jordi Gomez, Adam Matthews and Charis Mavrias - has been training with the Under-21s, with no prospect of a second chance with the Black Cats.
Leeds have been keen to re-sign Bridcutt, although they have been reluctant to meet Sunderland's £500,000 asking price for the 27-year-old, who only has 12 months remaining on his contract.
But speculation today has suggested that relegated Villa could also be interested in the ex-Brighton man.
Villa are expected to be in the market for a defensive midfielder, with Carlos Sanchez on the verge of joining Marseille.