Aston Villa are plotting a move for Middlesbrough outcast Adam Clayton. According to a recent report in the English press, the Boro midfielder has been linked with a surprise move to Villa Park. The 28-year-old was instrumental in Middlesbrough’s promotion to the Premier League in 2016 but has recently fallen out of favour at the Riverside Stadium this season and is yet make an appearance under new manager Tony Pulis. Clayton has not featured for the Boro since their 3-0 loss at the hands of Derby County in the last week of November.
Some sources have claimed that the ex Huddersfield Town player is now set for an exit from North Yorkshire in the January transfer window which has alerted a whole host of Championship clubs to move in for the player’s signature. Leeds United are reportedly interested in reuniting with their former player who spent two years at Elland Road before his move to the Terriers in the summer of 2012. Clayton is also being monitored by Sheffield United who sees him as a direct alternative for their midfielder Paul Coutts after the player fell victim to a season-ending injury.
However, Aston Villa has also emerged as one of the favourites to land the player’s services with their manager Steve Bruce monitoring Clayton’s situation at Middlesbrough and may consider making a move for him in the near future.
Clayton has featured in 14 matches for Middlesbrough in this campaign across all competitions but he is yet to find the back of the net so far. The 28-year-old is highly versatile in midfield and can play in both an attacking role or as a defensive and deep-lying playmaker at the centre of the park. He has a wealth of experience in the Championship having made over 200 appearances in the second tier of English football which includes spells at Carlisle United, Leeds United, Huddersfield Town, and Middlesbrough.
The Villans currently find themselves in fifth place in the Championship table and are well on course to secure a playoff spot at the end of this season. Steve Bruce’s men have a total points tally of 44 in 26 league matches so far. However, Villa has been inconsistent in the league of late and are in need of reinforcements in the winter transfer window. A potential move for Clayton can turn out to be an ideal addition in their quest to secure a route back to the Premier League this term.
It remains to be seen whether Aston Villa are successful in their attempts to fend off strong competition from fellow Championship rivals in the race for Clayton’s signature.