Aston Villa are chasing recently released West Brom defender Gareth McAuley following his departure from The Hawthorns this afternoon, according to The Daily Record. 

John Terry and Christopher Samba have already departed Villa Park this summer as the cash strapped side look to balance the books.

The Midlanders are now left with just one recognised centre half in James Chester, but the Irish international has been linked with a move to recently relegated Stoke City.

McAuley could be the perfect replacement for John Terry, as he carries a wealth of experience playing at the top flight, he could be the perfect leader to replace the former Chelsea captain.

The Northern Irish international is coming in to the latter stages of his career, having turned 38 last December.

He made 203 league appearances for the Baggies, where he scored 15 goals from defence.

A big pulling factor for Steve Bruce is the fact that McAuley would be available to purchase on a free transfer.

Villa have hit a financial crisis since losing to Fulham in the Playoff Final and this could see the budget significantly reduced this summer.

Steven Gerrard’s Rangers are also interested in signing McAuley, as the ex Liverpool man looks to craft a squad capable of challenging Celtic for the SPL title.

The Scottish side are keen to offer McAuley a one year deal at Ibrox and have already been in contact with the Northern Irishman.

Steve Bruce will have to act quickly if he wants to sign McAuley as the Scottish giants look set to battle the Midlanders for the signature of the former Baggies captain.

 

 

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