New Aston Villa manager looks set to go head to head with Sunderland for the signature of Tottenham and Scotland right-back, Alan Hutton. The defender is available for around £6m.
Hutton arrived from Rangers in January 2008 with a hefty £9m price tag around his head. But so far, despite the odd glimpse of promise, has failed to justify anything like that sum.
McLeish is looking to rebuild Villa and put his own stamp on the squad former boss Gerard Houllier largely inherited from Martin O’Neill. Big Eck gave Hutton his Rangers debut back in 2002 and was instrumental in his development as one of Scotland’s hottest prospects.
By reuniting himself with Hutton, McLeish would add attacking impetus to a defence that has long been established as one of the toughest in the league.
He does however face very stiff competition from Sunderland, who took on loan for half a season in 2010. Although he did not make a huge impression, Hutton put in some decent displays at the Stadium of Light.
The fact that Sunderland have already signed nine players thus transfer window is worth considering. Although McLeish could very well reinvest in his Villa squad and turn the side into European challengers, Sunderland appear to be the side out of the two on the up.
With Villa selling influential midfielder Ashley Young to Manchester United and with rumours rife that equally influential midfielder Stewart Downing about to leave, Villa need to rebuild. Not to mention the fact that McLeish must take time to establish his reputation with dissenting Villa fans.
Hutton would undoubtedly entertain ideas of joining either club, frequently finding himself behind Vedran Corluka, and consigned to the bench.Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!