Aston Villa

Aston Villa

Premier League • England

Aston Villa forward poised to join resurgent high-flyers, with clever exit to benefit Emery long-term

Aston Villa forwards Cameron Archer and Leon Bailey

Middlesbrough are in advanced talks to sign Aston Villa striker Cameron Archer on loan for the remainder of the season, TEAMtalk understands.

As revealed by TEAMtalk last month, Middlesbrough had made Archer, 21, their top target as they looked to bring in a new striker in the January transfer window.

A number of Championship clubs are chasing Archer’s signature, but Boro are close to landing the England Under-21 international.

Archer’s future has been the subject of conjecture after struggling for first-team minutes at Aston Villa so far this season.

The frontman has made just six Premier League appearances from the substitutes bench totalling a measly 44 minutes.

With Unai Emery in the market for attacking additions in January, Archer could soon be pushed even further down the pecking order at Villa Park.

Archer enjoyed a successful loan spell at Preston North End in the second half of the previous campaign, The striker scored seven goals in 20 appearances during his stint at Deepdale.

Villa are understood to be keen for Archer to join Middlesbrough after being impressed by the work performed by Michael Carrick so far at the Riverside.

Carrick to be rewarded for bright start

The former Tottenham and Man Utd midfielder has guided Boro to seven wins, one draw and two defeats in his first 10 matches in charge.

That superb run of form has catapulted Middlesbrough up to fifth position and Archer’s arrival would add further firepower as they push for promotion to the Premier League.

Villa retain high hopes Archer can become a first-team star in the future. Indeed, the fact they handed the forward a new contract running until 2027 in August is proof of that.

But a loan deal is in the best interests of both Villa and Archer for the time being and Middlesbrough look set to be the third beneficiary.

Boro are hoping to build on their bright start to life under Carrick by backing him in the transfer market. A loan move for Archer is a fine way to start.

EXCLUSIVE: Aston Villa prepare January move for top Emery target as three Premier League rivals enter attacker’s transfer battle