Aston Villa are considering making a late move to sign Shane Long on loan from Southampton, according to The Birmingham Mail.

What’s the word?

Amidst a striking crisis at Villa Park, Steve Bruce is considering a number of options to land before the loan window shuts at the end of August and has added Southampton forward Long to a list of targets.

The Republic of Ireland international was left out of the squad for the opening weekend’s draw with Burnley but took a spot on the bench for the 2-1 defeat to Everton, earning a 30-minute cameo in the defeat.

Long is not guaranteed first-team football on the South Coast this season and Aston Villa want to take advantage of that, although The Birmingham Mail states that Bruce is not convinced he will be able to seal a deal.

To make matters worse, Mark Hughes is also reluctant to approve an exit for the experienced 31-year-old.

The right man?

Aston Villa are considering a number of options and their number one choice is Chelsea forward Tammy Abraham, The Birmingham Mail adds, although they are yet to get an indication of the Blues’ plans for the talented young forward.

While Abraham is a solid option, the forward struggled for form in the second half of the season on loan with Swansea City last term and Villa need a striker who can hit the ground running – and Shane Long can be that man.

Boasting over 120 league appearances for Southampton, Long does not have the best record in front of goal but would prove to be a solid strike partner for Jonathan Kodjia, with the pair potentially crafting a relationship that could fire Steve Bruce’s side back into the Premier League.

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Josh Challies