January is now upon us and Aston Villa will be busy in the transfer window.

It's not expected to be particularly hectic at Villa Park but Steve Bruce will hope to add to his squad.

Which players could the claret and blues target?

Here are the players that have been linked with moves to Villa already.

Leo Ulloa - Leicester City

Leicester City's Leonardo Ulloa
Leicester City's Leonardo Ulloa

The Leicester City forward could be available for transfer next month and Villa will be hoping to agree a loan deal.

It all depends on whether the Foxes allow him to leave.

Recently he's been in the matchday 18 with fellow forward Islam Slimani missing out.

Nahki Wells - Burnley

Nahki Wells of Huddersfield Town reacts after a near miss against Aston Villa
Nahki Wells of Huddersfield Town reacts after a near miss against Aston Villa

Villa checked out the striker before he moved from Huddersfield to Burnley this summer.

And given that he is out of favour at Turf Moor, a loan move could be on the cards.

Bruce is keen on the striker and will consider him as one of the options.

Marko Grujic - Liverpool

Aston Villa are one of several Premier League and Championship teams keeping tabs on Liverpool ace Marko Grujic as the January transfer window edges ever closer.

Steve Bruce is understood to be interested in strengthening his promotion-chasing squad with a couple of clever loan moves, and Grujic will be made available by the Reds with first team opportunities understandably limited at Anfield.

The Serbia international, 21, will be available for loan next month.

Nick Powell - Wigan Athletic

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Wigan's attacking midfielder Nick Powell is said to be on the radar.

Bruce is aware of Powell’s talents having managed him during a brief loan spell at Hull in the second half of the 2015/16 season.

The 23-year-old, who joined Wigan Athletic from Manchester United on a free transfer in the summer of 2016, is enjoying a fine campaign in League One.

He has bagged 10 goals and provided two assists for the Latics.

Bruce has already asked Wigan about Powell but was rebuffed.

Adam Clayton - Middlesbrough

Aston Villa have been linked with a surprise swoop for Middlesbrough outcast Adam Clayton.

The midfielder, who played a pivotal part in Boro’s promotion from the Championship in 2016, has fallen out of favour at The Riverside this season and is yet to feature in a squad under new manager Tony Pulis.

Clayton, 28, hasn’t played for Boro since their 3-0 defeat to Derby County at the end of November.

And he looks set to leave this month with no fewer than six Championship clubs monitoring his situation, according to the Yorkshire Evening Post.

Leeds United are said to be eyeing a reunion with Clayton, who spent two seasons at Elland Road before leaving for West Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield Town in 2012.

Sheffield United are also reportedly involved and see Clayton as a direct replacement for midfield general Paul Coutts following his season-ending injury.

Cardiff City, Derby County and Sheffield Wednesday are also said to be keen on the player, as are Villa.

Michal Krmencik - Viktoria Plzen

Aston Villa and Wolverhampton Wanderers are set to go head-to-head in January for red-hot Czech Republic striker Michal Krmencik.

Both clubs are reportedly preparing bids for the 24-year-old Viktoria Plzen star who has hit 18 goals in 25 matches this season.

Krmencik is also being tracked by Dinamo Zagreb and talks with the Croatian side are said to be at an advanced stage.

Marcus Tavernier - Middlesbrough

Aston Villa have been linked with talented teen winger Marcus Tavernier as the U19 England international continues to catch the eye.

The Daily Mail reports that the 18-year-old has been attracting the attention of many club scouts after breaking into Garry Monk's Middlesbrough side.

The left-sided wide-man has been watched by Villa scouts and also from representatives of Everton, Bournemouth and Arsenal.

Rolando Aarons - Newcastle United

Newcastle United winger Rolando Aarons is reportedly on Villa's radar ahead of the January transfer window.

The Daily Mirror say that Villa could go head to head with Premier League pair Crystal Palace and Huddersfield Town for the 22-year-old, who has a long-term contract on Tyneside.

Newcastle's Rolando Aarons

Oli McBurnie - Swansea City

Aston Villa are considering a loan swoop for Swansea City striker Oli McBurnie, according to reports in the national media.

Steve Bruce has revealed his desire to sign another forward in the January transfer window to ease the strain on Keinan Davis, who remains Villa’s only fit attacker.

Unlikely to happen, though, as Bruce wants a striker with more experience.

Chiedozie Ogbene - Limerick

Villa are reportedly in the chase for one of Irish football's brightest talents.

Nigerian born Chiedozie Ogbene plays for Limerick and has attracted the attention of a number of English clubs.

The Irish Examiner reports that Villa and Chelsea are two of the clubs leading the race for his signature.

The 20-year-old has been on trial in England at various clubs and the paper reports that Villa's interest in the winger is 'concrete'.

Ifeanyi Matthew (Lillestrom)

Nigerian midfielder Matthew has dazzled in the Eliteserien this season and reportedly has a whole host of suitors across the continent.

The 20-year-old played every minute of Lillestrom’s 30 game league season, which ended on Sunday.

It is expected Matthew’s representatives will look to shift him on this winter.

Flamur Kastrati (Sandefjord)

Kastrati would perhaps be the out and out striker Villa require having found the net 10 times in 27 appearances for Sandefjord.

He has recently earned international recognition with Kosovo and now has four caps to his name.

Kastrati only joined Sandefjord in January and previously enjoyed stints with Aalesund, Stromsgodset, Erzgebirge and FC Twente.

Leon Clarke - Sheffield United

Villa are considering a move for Championship top scorer Leon Clarke, according to reports.

Website Football Insider claims Steve Bruce has the Sheffield United striker ‘top of his shortlist’ of potential replacements for Jonathan Kodjia.

Filip Helander - Bologna

The claret and blues have been linked with a surprise swoop for Swedish defender Filip Helander.

Reports in Italy are suggesting Villa have watched the Bologna centre-back and are considering making a move in the upcoming January transfer window.

Helander, 24, made his debut for Sweden earlier this year and will hope to be part of Janne Anderson’s 23-man World Cup squad heading for Russia next summer.

Connor Shields - Albion Rovers

The 20-year-old has shot to prominence in Scottish League One, bagging 11 goals in just 17 games for Albion Rovers this season.

That rich vein of form has seen Shields named in several SPFL teams of the week and has also alerted sides south of the border.

Villa and fellow Championship club Sunderland are said to have sent scouts to take a closer look at the forward who was promoted from the Albion Rovers' under-20s team by new boss Brian Kerr at the start of the campaign.

Ahmed Musa - Leicester City

Villa and Hull City are reportedly interested in signing Leicester City forward Ahmed Musa in January.

Musa, 25, was signed by Claudio Ranieri in the summer of 2016 but his Foxes career has never really taken off.

Mohamed Diame - Newcastle United

Mohamed Diame is believed to want a reunion with Steve Bruce in January, reports our sister title the Mirror.

Diame has been largely limited to appearances from the bench for the Magpies in the Premier League this season, currently sitting behind fellow midfielders Jonjo Shelvey, Isaac Hayden and Mikel Merino.

The former Senegal international wishes to play regularly again, and wouldn’t be against dropping back down into the Championship, where the title he won last season under Rafael Benitez.

Villa player Alan Hutton (r) challenges Mohamed Diame of Newcastle

Michael Carrick - Manchester United

Carrick, 36, is yet to play a minute of Premier League football under Jose Mourinho this season having only played once across all competitions - against Burton Albion in the third round of the Carabao Cup.

And three clubs are reportedly ready to test the water and offer Carrick the chance to see out his football career in the Midlands.

Villa, managed by former Manchester United great Steve Bruce, are battling with Premier League duo West Bromwich Albion and Leicester City for Carrick.

Callum Kealy - Metropolitan Police

The 19-year-old forward is currently playing for the Metropolitan Police, for whom he only signed this past summer.

Originally at Brighton and Hove Albion, Kealy departed the AMEX Stadium in 2016 having failed to break into Chris Hughton’s first-team plans.

Mikolaj Bieganski - Skra Czestochowa

Villa are in the running to sign Polish goalkeeper Mikolaj Bieganski from Skra Czestochowa, according to ESPN .

However, Villa aren’t alone in having an interest in the teenager, who is also being eyed by Premier League pair Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.

Bieganski, just 15 years old, is currently training with the Czestochowa first-team despite his tender age.

He is believed to have been offered trials by the trio of English clubs.

Joe Lewis - Aberdeen

Reports in Scotland suggest Villa's chief scout Tony Coton was at Easter Road to watch Lewis earlier this season.

Coton used to be a goalkeeper for Manchester City, Birmingham City and Watford and has previously specialised in goalkeeper scouting.

Lewis, 30, has been capped by England at every level up to under-21s and has played in the Championship previously with Peterborough, Cardiff, Blackpool and Fulham.

Alfredo Morelos - Rangers

Coton was in attendance as Rangers beat St Johnstone 3-0 in October, according to reports.

Morelos, signed from HJK Helsinki in the summer, has scored eight goals in 13 matches for the Gers after bursting onto the Scottish scene.

The Colombian is still only 21 and Villa are thought to have been keeping an eye on him for a while, though they’re not the only Championship club to be interested.

Jhon Cordoba - Cologne

Villa have been linked with a move for FC Cologne forward Jhon Cordoba in the January transfer window with Steve Bruce searching for reinforcements to his striker ranks.

The Colombian forward, 24, signed for Cologne from German rivals Mainz, and has previously had spells in Spain with Granada and Espanyol.

Here is a selection of players Villa were linked with during the summer - and what happened next.

Goalkeepers

Sam Johnstone (joined Villa)

The Manchester United goalkeeper, who enjoyed a successful loan spell with the claret and blues in the second half of last season, was the man Bruce wanted to keep net for Villa next season.

The Villa Park chief has met with Red Devils counterpart Jose Mourinho and got his wish.

Eldin Jakupovic (joined Leicester City)

The goalkeeper was attracting plenty of interest after some sterling displays for Hull City last term.

Bruce was linked with plenty of the players he took to Humberside but Jakupovic headed instead for Leicester.

Allan McGregor

Like Jakupovic, McGregor was managed by Bruce at Hull.

He spent last season on loan with Cardiff City and was a reliable last line of defence for the Bluebirds.

Logan Bailly (joined Mouscron)

The goalkeeper, who didn't featured at all last season for Brendan Rodgers’ Celtic invincibles, was an interesting - but peculiar - link and one that you never sensed would come to fruition.

And it didn't, with Bailly returning to his homeland of Belgium to sign for Mouscron.

Defenders

Chris Samba (joined Villa)

Samba had been training with Villa since February in a bid to win a contract and joined Bruce and his staff for pre-season.

The giant defender was popular among the players and put pen to paper on a deal.

Aden Flint

The Bristol City central defender was another option Bruce was thought to be considering.

Flint signed a new deal with the Robins last season.

Marc Roberts (joined Birmingham City)

Roberts took on the mantle of Barnsley captain when Villa signed Conor Hourihane in January and led his young teammates by example during the second half of the campaign.

First team football would need to be a guarantee and he joined Birmingham City.

John Terry (joined Villa)

Just about every club in the land seemed to express an interest in Terry since it emerged that the Chelsea legend would be leaving Stamford Bridge.

Villa jumped to the front of the queue made Terry a very competitive offer which the former England skipper duly accepted.

Michael Hector

The former Reading man was one of 37 players to have spent time away from Chelsea on loan last season.

Grant Hanley (joined Norwich City)

The former Newcastle United man was said to be attracting interest from Derby and Villa, before he signed for Norwich.

Vegard Forren

Reports in Norway claimed Villa were interested in the 29-year-old central defender having missed out to Brighton in the race to sign him midway through last season.

He remains with Molde.

Midfielders

Glenn Whelan (joined Villa)

Villa saw a £500,000 bid rejected by Stoke City for the midfielder returning with a higher offer to secure their man.

Joe Ledley (joined Derby)

Villa are one of a number of Championship teams considering the Wales international, who left Crystal Palace at the end of the last season.

It is understood that Ledley would be open to dropping down to the Championship.

Aaron Mooy (joined Huddersfield)

Australian media linked the claret and blues with a move for the midfielder but Villa’s interest appeared to be nothing more than admiration.

Mooy signed permanently for Huddersfield town after impressing last term on loan with the Terriers.

Ahmed Elmohamady (joined Villa)

Bruce has now signed Elmohamady three times during his managerial career.

The Egyptian can play at full-back, wing-back or as an orthodox right-winger.

Guessouma Fofana

Fofana currently plays for Amiens in the French second tier but was said to be attracting attention from England with Villa and Crystal Palace reportedly having been to watch him play.

Kevin Stewart (joined Hull City)

The 23-year-old was expected to depart Liverpool in search of regular first team football and duly did - agreeing a three-year deal with Hull City.

Kundai Benyu (joined Celtic)

Ex-Ipswich Town youngster spent last season on loan with Aldershot in the National League and impressed with five goals in 23 appearances.

Benyu caught the eye of Celtic.

George Boyd (joined Sheffield Wednesday)

The marathon man was out of contract at Burnley this summer.

Bruce was a huge admirer but Boyd signed for Sheffield Wednesday.

Marley Watkins (joined Norwich City)

Watkins was the subject of interest from Villa and Wolves due to his availability on a free transfer but the 26-year-old completed a move to Norwich City.

Ollie Watkins (joined Brentford)

The midfielder attracted interest from a host of Championship clubs, of which Villa were believed to be one.

Brentford won the race.

Bright Osayi-Samuel (joined QPR)

Osayi-Samuel helped Blackpool achieve an immediate return to League One with victory over Exeter in the play-off final in May before QPR came calling.

Jackson Irvine (joined Hull City)

Like Mooy, Irvine emerged as a target for Villa in the Australian media.

Several other Championship clubs were reported to be keen and one of them, Hull, secured is signature.

Strikers

Sam Gallagher (joined Birmingham City)

A host of Championship clubs were vying to sign the Southampton frontman after a decent season with Blackburn Rovers.

Gallagher had plenty of options and chose Blues.

Haris Seferovic (joined Benfica)

The Swiss forward was linked with a move to Villa Park in April, but a switch always looked unlikely.

He cost Benfica around £3million in July.