Aston Villa have entered the race to sign Arsenal striker Chuba Akpom on a temporary basis with Steve Bruce looking to strengthen his forward line before the end of the January transfer window.
The 21-year-old striker has failed to break into the Gunners first-team this season and Arsene Wenger is ready to allow Akpom to go out on loan and play regular football in the Championship. The Frenchman rates the striker highly and has held on to him in the summer in the hopes of giving him a run out in the cup games, but the English forward suffered an injury after his first appearance in the EFL Cup.
Akpom only recently returned from injury, but his path to the first-team is blocked at the moment as Wenger has a number of senior options for the number nine role. Olivier Giroud, Alexis Sanchez, Lucas Perez and Danny Welbeck are ahead of him in the pecking order.
According to the Birmingham Mail, the Villa manager, who has worked with Akpom previously – at Hull City last season – is interested in taking him to the Championship for the rest of the season. The England U21 international made 43 appearances in all competitions last year scoring seven goals, and will provide an added avenue of attack as he can play in the number nine role or on the flanks.
Arsenal's willingness to allow the striker to leave on a temporary basis is said to have alerted a number of clubs in the Championship, and the striker has just over three days to decide his next destination. Bruce will hold an edge, as he has worked with the striker, moreover, Akpom admitted last season that he enjoys working under the former Hull manager.
"We are close. We get along. He understands me, and tells me when I have gone wrong and when I have gone right," Akpom said in January last season, as quoted by the Daily Mail.