Aston Villa are mulling over a move for Sunderland whizkid Dan Neil in the January transfer window despite competition from Burnley.

According to The Sun, Aston Villa have entered the race to sign Dan Neil. The Sunderland youngster has become an in-demand player with Steven Gerrard believed to be a huge admirer of the 20-year-old. The Villa boss is ready to splash the cash on the player in January, although his side could face stiff competition from league rivals Burnley.

A central midfielder by trade, Neil has been a member of Sunderland’s youth academy since 2010. He enjoyed a fruitful spell with the club’s youth ranks, notably gaining promotion to the reserve side in 2019. He was an ever-present figure for the Sunderland U23s in Premier League 2, racking up 43 league appearances before being called up to the senior side at the start of the season.

The youngster appears to have immediately made an impact at the senior level, becoming an ever-present figure in the Sunderland midfield this season. Indeed, he has been involved in all but one league game for his team, helping the Black Cats emerge as favourites to return to the Championship come May.

However, Neil’s spell at the Stadium of Light could come to an abrupt end, with Aston Villa reportedly keen on a January swoop. As iterated earlier, Gerrard is a huge admirer of the youngster, and the Villa scouts have sung praises of him in their reports, compelling the former Rangers boss to consider a permanent move this month.

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The Villans have already made headlines in January by securing deals to sign Philippe Coutinho and Lucas Digne. While the potential acquisition of Dan Neil may not command a similar spotlight, it could prove to be a smart investment for the club, given the uncertain future of Douglas Luiz.

The Brazilian has been linked with a move to Arsenal, among many other top clubs across Europe. While a January exit might not be on the cards, the addition of Neil could help Gerrard build a solid base for the future. It could also add healthy competition in the midfield unit, ultimately enhancing the overall quality of the team.

That said, it remains to be seen whether Sunderland have any intention to offload the 20-year-old in January, knowing it could disrupt their push for promotion during the second half of the season.

Meanwhile, Aston Villa are also considering a move for a new goalkeeper, who can offer backup for Emiliano Martinez. They have been linked with a swoop for Robin Olsen, but it appears Coventry City’s Simon Moore could emerge as the desired option for coach Steven Gerrard.

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