Arsenal's England under-21 international Justin Hoyte could be the answer to Aston Villa's right-back problem, with Martin O'Neill reportedly considering a £2.5million swoop.
The 22-year-old, who spent the season before last on loan at Sunderland, is now the third-choice right-back for the Gunners and boss Arsene Wenger is reportedly prepared to listen to offers, according to today's Mirror.
Villa have been linked with a move for Charlton's Luke Young for some time, though there are now conflicting reports about whether O'Neill is still interested. One suggestion is that the Addicks want £4million for the 28-year-old, and O'Neill is not prepared to pay what he sees as an excessive asking price.
However, all of this is currently just speculation and, as we have seen so many times already this summer, speculation is often wide of the mark. Hoyte, though, does seem to fit the bill of a player who has been given a decent footballing education - he progressed through Arsenal youth system - and should be available at a sensible price.
With Mark Delaney out of contract and hoping to convince O'Neill to hand him a new contract, it will be interesting to see just who emerges as the first-choice right-back next season. Youth and experience often combine well in a squad.
One final thought, though, is that O'Neill has today suggested his next signing may be a foreign player, seemingly ruling Hoyte out as an immediate swoop, but as the boss likes to play cat-and-mouse with the press, nothing should be written off as impossible.
Aston Villa have a few players out on loan so far this season, so here's an update following on from the last month.
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