Aston Villa

Aston Villa won’t be signing 20-year-old this January

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Steve Bruce’s Aston Villa have been handed a blow in their January transfer window hopes having been told by Hearts that they won’t be signing John Souttar, report the Huddersfield Daily Examiner.

The Villans have reportedly been trailing the 20-year-old Scottish defender in recent weeks but Hearts manager Robbie Neilson was defiant when quizzed over Souttar’s future recently.

Speaking to the Daily Record, Neilson claimed: “We see his future at Hearts. John understands he still has another couple of years to do here, to mature, get more physical and learn as a defender.

“You can see the progression he’s made since coming to Hearts but, even with that, he can still move up a few steps before he is ready to move down south.”

Neilson also went on to confirm that both the club and player have no interest in a transfer away from Tynecastle right now so Bruce will be forced to return to the drawing board as his search for defensive recruits continues.

In the Villans’ most recent 1-0 victory over Fulham, Bruce relied upon a central defensive pairing of James Chester and Nathan Baker with club captain Tommy Elphick missing.

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