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Queens Park Rangers v Aston Villa - Sky Bet Championship

West Bromwich Albion Eyeing Championship Star To Ease Burden On Rondon: A Good Move?

The Baggies might become the first English club to get their business running when the transfer window opens next month as there are already reports that they are all set to bring in Aston Villa forward Rudy Gestede.

West Bromwich Albion are believed to table a bid of £7million next month for the French international to solve their crisis up front, with Villa lining a £9 million bid for Brentford striker Scott Hogan. Villa have endured a frustrating season this year and Gestede hasn’t been in the best of touches to help their cause either.

However, Pulis thinks that he could turn the striker, who has only managed to bag four goals this season, into something productive at Hawthorns. The 28-year-old has been constantly watched by Albion scouts and they have liked what they have seen. He is also understood to have attended Boro’s 3-0 home defeat to Liverpool last week.

Pulis is likely to get competition from Crystal Palace and Middlesbrough in landing Gestede as both the clubs have faced similar crisis up front and are looking to beef up before they resume their second part of the season.

Aston Villa v Middlesbrough - Pre-Season Friendly

West Bromwich saw two successive defeats at the hands of Manchester United and Chelsea last week and they next visit Emirates to Arsenal on Boxing Day before they go into winter break. Although Salomon Rondon has been in fine form this season, scoring seven and assisting twice in 17 appearances, he is pretty much the only option Pulis has up front currently. Berahino’s injury has kept him out for long and he has only returned to the squad after missing half of the season.

Rondon has been superb in the air and Gestede’s inclusion will further improve it. The 193cm tall Benin international wins most of his aerial duels and could provide more muscle up front for players to link up on the counter.

He joined Villa from Blackburn for £6m on a five-year deal in 2015 and has since scored ten times in 54 appearances, assisting four times. Villa have plenty of options up front that includes the likes of Kodija, Ayew, McCormack, Agbonlahor and Kozák. Kodija and Ayew have both been decent while McCormack and Gestede have not been that impressive.

While breaking into the first team at Villa looks quite challenging, it will not be the case in Albion. Villa manager Steve Bruce is also understood to go for Middlesbrough striker Jordan Rhodes in January and the only way to do that would be clearing their available options. Hence, Gestede’s departure looks quite imminent.

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