Aston Villa to bid for Middlesbrough's Jordan Rhodes - sources

Aston Villa are preparing to firm up their interest in Middlesbrough striker Jordan Rhodes with a bid for the player, sources close to the Championship club have told ESPN FC.

Rhodes, 26, has been a long-term target for Villa boss Steve Bruce, having tried to sign him while in charge of Hull, as he looks to add to his attacking options during this month's transfer window.

Villa have already enquired about taking the Scotland international on loan, but Middlesbrough would prefer to sell Rhodes and recoup most of the £10 million they paid to sign the striker from Blackburn Rovers last January.

Rhodes has found his first-team chances at Middlesbrough limited this season, making just two starts in the Premier League, and the recent arrival of Rudy Gestede from Aston Villa has pushed him even further down the pecking order at the Riverside.

The reported arrival of Patrick Bamford from Chelsea will only increase the competition for places in Middlesbrough's attack and the club are now ready to listen to offers for Rhodes.