Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce has beaten off Premier League competition to sign young Barnsley right-back James Bree.

The 19-year-old will set Villa back around £3m as reported by the ​Sun, and is cleared to finalise his move after terms were agreed between the two clubs - with the bulk of the transfer fee being paid up front.

Bruce has been chasing the teenager throughout most of the January transfer window, and has apparently fended off potential Premier League suitors.

The former Hull City manager is now expected to offer the defender 'top-flight' wages and the deal is expected to be completed way before Villa's next Championship game against Brentford.

Bruce is apparently also eyeing Bree's teammate Conor Hourihane, who would cost approximately £2.5m and around £28,000-a-week in wages, and it is understood that the wheels are in motion for the deal.

Barnsley v Northampton Town - EFL Cup

Where outgoings are concerned for the Villans, it is looking increasingly likely that Ross McCormack will leave the club this January, after recently being banished to train with the club's youngsters by a furious Bruce, after missing first-team training sessions. On one occasion, the 30-year-old claimed he couldn't get to training because "the gates on his house were stuck".

One possible suitor for the Scot this January is his old club Fulham, whom he played for between 2014-16.