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Steve Bruce delivers honest message on Aston Villa’s out-of-favour duo

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Speaking to the Birmingham Mail, Steve Bruce has opened up about the future of both Ross McCormack and Gary Gardner, amid rumours that the duo are set to leave Aston Villa this summer.

Bruce is preparing for his first full season at Villa Park, and will be hoping his side can better their 13th placed finish that was achieved last year, with the ultimate aim of challenging for promotion.

Villa are reshaping their squad this summer, with a number of arrivals and departures already happening over the last few weeks.

John Terry, Sam Johnstone, Chris Samba, Ahmed Elmohamady and Glenn Whelan are all new faces at Villa Park, whilst others have ended their respective spells at B6.

McCormack and Gardner look like they could be two of the next faces out of Villa Park, after both missed out on Villa’s pre-season tour of Germany earlier this summer.

Bruce confirmed that Villa had received enquiries about the duo, but left the door open for another first-team opportunity, on McCormack, he said: “There’s been an enquiry. I don’t know. There’s been enquiries from a couple of clubs, that might happen in the next week or so, we’ll wait and see.

“I didn’t take him to Germany. I left the door open for him. He is training well but at the moment I can’t guarantee him a game.”

Referring to Gardner, Bruce continued: “That goes for Gary Gardner and one or two other ones where basically we have too many.

“To be fair to them lads too I didn’t think it was right to take them to Germany if I was not going to use them.”

Sunderland are said to be one of the Sky Bet Championship clubs monitoring McCormack, with various reports suggesting that the North East club were in discussions with the striker over a possible loan move.

Other reports suggest that Gardner is a target of Nottingham Forest, with Mark Warburton keen to take the midfielder back to the City Ground, where he has had two loan spells previously.

The Verdict  

Steve Bruce’s Aston Villa reshape is well underway now, and we are beginning to see the strategy that he will be taking into the Championship season, which begins next week.

Both these players were highly unlikely to feature for Bruce in the coming season, with Villa having so many options both in attack and midfield.

As with a lot of players at Villa Park this summer, it is probably best for both the club and themselves to go their separate ways ahead of the new season, with McCormack and Gardner included in that.

Villa fans… Let us know your thoughts!


Alfie is a journalist based in Yorkshire with years of experience covering the EFL. A current focus on Huddersfield Town and their fortunes back in the Championship, but out and about at as many games as possible. Covered Leeds United during their promotion-winning season in 2019/20.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Steve Bruce delivers honest message on Aston Villa’s out-of-favour duo

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