Villa step up chase for Alan Hutton

Aston Villa boss Alex McLeish will today step up his bid to sign Tottenham defender Alan Hutton after allowing Jean Makoun to join Greek outfit Olympiakos on loan.

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Aston Villa boss Alex McLeish will today step up his bid to sign Tottenham defender Alan Hutton after allowing Jean Makoun to move to Greek outfit Olympiakos on loan.

The sale of Luke Young to Queens Park Rangers for £2million has given McLeish some cash to spend in the transfer market and Hutton is the manager's choice to replace him.

The Scotland international has been told by Spurs boss Harry Redknapp he can leave the club having fallen behind Kyle Walker – who spent last season on loan at Villa – in the pecking order at White Hart Lane and is available for a fee around £3million.

Hutton would, though, face competition for the right-back spot from youngster Chris Herd who is determined to force his way into McLeish's plans after an impressive display in their goalless draw with Wolves.

Herd said: "I am just going to concentrate on my game and just see what happens. I just want to keep improving wherever I play."

Villa may opt to take Hutton, who played under McLeish at Rangers, on loan until the end of the season with the view to a permanent switch in the summer to free up cash for another midfielder.

There is greater scope for manoeuvre in the market after midfielder Makoun completed the formalities of his season-long loan.

The Cameroon international, signed by previous boss Gerard Houllier, has been unable to force himself into McLeish's plans.

[24link]

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