Championship club Aston Villa have entered the race for the signature of highly-rated Limerick forward Chiedozie Ogbene, as manager Steve Bruce looks to strengthen his attacking options in the January transfer window, according to a report on the Irish Examiner.

The 20-year-old forward has previously had trials with numerous Premier League clubs, including the likes of current champions Chelsea.

The striker’s current contract with Limerick is still valid for another year but ever since the League of Ireland campaign concluded in October, he has been looking for a new club.

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Villa are yet to make an official offer for the forward but are reported to be readying a bid.

The striker managed to get his name on the scoresheet eight times for Limerick during their league campaign and his goalscoring is an attribute that has interested Bruce.

Villa youngster Keinan Davis has been a revelation this season and Bruce wants to add more goals to his frontline.

Ogbene could find himself joining a growing Irish contingent that already features Glenn Whelan, Scott Hogan, Conor Hourihane, Kevin Tonner, James Finnerty at Villa Park.

The club are pushing for promotion to the Premier League this season and are currently fourth in the Championship.