Aston Villa defender Ritchie De Laet is thought to be closing in on a loan deal with Melbourne City, according to reports in Australia.
The 29-year old has been on the edge of the Villa side this season, with just the two EFL Cup appearances to his name and it appears as though Steve Bruce is ready to sanction a temporary spell away from the club.
Villa have done business with Melbourne City before, Ross McCormack spent 14 games on loan with the A-League side last season.
It would see De Laet link up with Warren Joyce, a coach he’s worked with before. Joyce is now manager of Melbourne, but was Head Coach at Royal Antwerp when De Laet was there.
The defender also joined Stoke City in 2009 on the recommendation of Joyce, who was then working at Manchester United.
De Laet has a year left to run on his current Villa deal, but has made just eight league appearances since joining in 2016.
This deal makes perfect sense, De Laet isn’t getting game time and is unlikely to break through any time soon.
At least he’ll be keeping fit and getting regular football, plus he’ll be off the wage bill. Clearing the decks for a big incoming perhaps?