Aston Villa tried and failed to bring in a central midfielder this summer, showing interest in Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Winks, Arsenal’s Emile Smith Rowe and Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse without success.

The Villans’ pursuit of Winks may not be over, however, as The Times say the 25-year-old could be loaned out when the winter transfer window opens in January.

Winks is keen to leave Spurs to get regular playing time this season and Alex McLeish is tipping Villa to make a move. He told Football Insider: “I definitely feel (loaning Winks) can enhance the squads of either club.

“I don’t say that because I’m saying they’re lower than Tottenham or anything. Sometimes there’s too much pressure at a certain club you’re at. When you go away, you can get your wings free and then do your stuff. Not be under the same intense pressure.

“That sounds as if I’m giving these guys a cop-out. They can still enhance their and improve their careers by moving. Even if it’s to a so-called lesser club, they can come back strong.”

Winks has made 178 appearances in all competitions since rising through the youth ranks to Tottenham’s first-team, scoring four goals with five assists. The England international has featured five times across the board this season, amassing 330 minutes of football.

Winks has played just one hour in the Premier League and finds himself behind Oliver Skipp, Tanguy Ndombele, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Giovani Lo Celso in the pecking order under Nuno Espirito Santo, so his future in North London is uncertain.

The 25-year-old doesn’t appear to be in his manager’s plans this campaign, so a loan move away could benefit all parties. Time will tell whether Villa position themselves to land his signature.

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