Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce is still keen on signing Aberdeen defender Scott McKenna, according to The Evening Express.
Bruce’s Aston Villa side have not had things go their own way so far this season, with the promotion hopefuls sitting seventh in the standings after ending a run of five winless games across all competitions this week.
Victory over Rotherham has given Bruce some breathing room but his side’s performances on the field, where they have won only three of their eight matches this season, mean there is a lot left to improve upon in the coming months.
The defence has been a major issue for Villa as they only kept their first Championship clean sheet in the midweek victory and The Evening Express states Aberdeen defender Scott McKenna remains a target for Bruce, who they quote as refusing to rule out a swoop in January.
“I spoke to Derek McInnes 10 days before (the window closed). But the stance was that he wasn’t for sale. It was like us with (Jack) Grealish – he wasn’t for sale in this window.
“We didn’t like to hear that, but a bit like what we did with Jack, they did with Scott McKenna.
“He is someone we have had a look at, Scott. But there are two or three other players in Scotland we have been looking at as well. We will see what develops.”
Villa’s defensive vulnerabilities have been exposed so far this season and it is clear that reinforcements at the back are required when the January transfer window reopens. However, 21-year-old McKenna lacks the experience Bruce’s side need.
The loss of veteran John Terry over the summer has not been accounted for by the club and, as a result, Villa have encountered numerous problems. While McKenna is a talented asset who could become a key player in the coming years, he will not necessarily solve the club’s issues.
Instead, Bruce should prioritise a move to bring Chelsea’s Gary Cahill back to Villa Park a decade after he left Villa to join Bolton, and a deal could be completed as the 32-year-old sees his contract with the Blues expire at the end of the season.
If Villa can manage to land Cahill from the Premier League side and also pull off a deal to bring McKenna to the club from Aberdeen, then it could create a defensive duo that can take Bruce’s side to new heights.