Middlesbrough are hoping that they can beat Aston Villa to the signing of Brentford’s Romaine Sawyers.

According to the Press Association, as cited on BT Sport, Tony Pulis is keen to bring in the midfielder this month.

Boro are looking to add some creativity and spark to their squad and have identified Sawyers as a potential target.

Sawyers has been heavily linked with a move away from Brentford, with former Bees boss Dean Smith keen to bring him to Villa Park as well.

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The report claims that Boro will have an advantage over Villa, who need to sell before buying and may hold out until the end of the season to complete a deal for Sawyers.

A host of Brentford players have been linked with moves to join Aston Villa since Dean Smith took charge of the club. Both Neal Maupay and Yoann Barbet are believed to be transfer targets for Smith.