Steve Bruce faced the media ahead of Aston Villa's match at Nottingham Forest with transfers firmly on the agenda.

The manager says Villa are closing in on their first signing of the January transfer window.

Here's every word Bruce said yesterday...

Ulloa and Amartey?

I think I would love to give you names, but it would be brutally unfair of me to do it.

I know everybody likes to listen to the transfer stuff and this, that and the other.

It would be unwise of me to speak about players at other clubs. We are particularly close to one - not particularly those two who you’ve named.

Until we’ve got them over the line, out of respect for the clubs we’re talking to I can’t really reveal it.

I’ve seen lists and lists and lists. We’ll do one or two, that’s what we’ll do. We are getting people back from injury. Of course Kodjia is the big one we’re missing so let’s see what we can do.

Outgoings?

We’ve had one or two enquiries, one or two enquiries that we don’t want.

This time last year I left us short in the striking area to generate some funds.

The way we are at the moment I’m very pleased with the squad.

The squad has proved to me that we’re capable, however, there’s nothing quite like a fresh face to give everybody a lift.

If we can do it with the right one - and it’s a loan deal - then we’ll try our utmost.

But if not, I’m determined to keep hold of our big players because they’ve been important to us.

They’ve given us a chance, even with the loss of the players we’ve had injured. They are coming back, the squad itself is bigger and healthier than it’s been.

Two weeks ago against Middlesbrough we had nine players missing, sickness ravaged everywhere, and the squad managed to go and win.

We know we’re capable so I’m not prepared to let anybody out, certainly not to generate any funds.

Any chance of a name?

No! I’m going to be ultra-boring and not tell you anything. There’s nothing really to report. In fact, we’ve been very quiet which I’m hoping remains the same.

Four defeats in 23?

I think that’s the most important stat of the lot. We had a bad 45 minutes at Brentford which is the standout one.

Consistency wise, four defeats in 23 gets you near enough where you want to be. That’s the important one.

Over the course of six months we’ve given ourselves a chance. Ideally we would like to be four or five points better off.

Wolves are the outstanding team in the division and look as though they are going to romp it.

The rest of us are now battling away for second and of course if you can’t get second, can you get yourself in the top six.

After a difficult start for us. Over the past few months we’ve kept a consistency that hopefully we can sustain until the end of the season.

Is this a bad time to be a manager?

Yes. The way it is and the way I speak to other managers too, having my time again I - even though I love the game - think I would think long and hard about going into it.

Some of the younger ones now that we’re losing to the media and I can fully understand why.

Somebody like Jamie Carragher should have stayed in the game. All that enthusiasm he’s got on the television should be put to use on the training pitch, in my opinion.

But I can really understand why he’s gone down the route he has because the manager’s job now is bordering on being ridiculous.

Because you don’t get time, you have to be instant and you can be out in three months - even a new manager!

We all understand it, we all want a bit more of it because football’s in you. It becomes like a drug and you get addicted to it. Certainly, for managers now it’s totally ridiculous.

When I see big people like Wenger and Mourinho getting stick I do question it. If those two are getting stick what chance have us mere mortals got? They’ve been great and they are great. The way it is at the moment it’s off with your head!

Aitor Karanka

He’s been successful before and did a decent job at Middlesbrough and got them promoted. I wish him the best of luck.

I don’t really know him personally, I’ve met him once or twice socially - I’ve had a cup of tea with him.

Two big clubs…

I think that’s the problem we all have being at Villa and Forest - they’ve got big histories, big traditions and big supports.

It shows you how hard it is to get out of the division. Same goes for Leeds, Sheffield Wednesday…

I can give you a list of names and now we find ourselves in the same situation.

Everybody thinks, “Well, they’re Aston Villa and they shouldn’t be in the Championship”. We are and it’s difficult to get out.

The enquiries you’ve knocked back - are they for the young players?

Yes. If it’s right in terms of a loan I will look at it but not to the detriment of the first team.

The likes of Andre Green, Keinan (Davis), Callum O’Hare and people who have been on the fringes of it then no, but some of the younger lads… Easah Suliman is one I will look at.

The way the loan window is structured - that isn’t helping is it?

No, it should be taken away for under-23s. When I first came to the club I didn’t see Easah Suliman.

I hadn’t seen him playing for the club but I’d seen him playing for England. It’s a detriment to us, we should have the loan for a month or two.

We’ve gone backwards for the young player. You can be at a big club and go out to a smaller club and not play, which has happened with (Matija) Sarkic.

He hasn’t played enough at Wigan. Our intention was that he can go there, get a bit of experience and go and play.

Back in the day you used to be able to recall them, nothing ventured nothing gained, but when he’s away for four months it becomes a problem.

I’m not against any of the younger ones (going out on loan). I think a lot of them got their eyes opened last week when they saw Peterborough. It’s the next progression. Go and let them play in real football and learn their trade.

Jordan Lyden’s injury

Well, unfortunately for him Lyden got injured again badly. He’s had an ankle operation (and won't be going out on loan) because he’s not fit.

Unfortunately he’s been ravaged with injuries for the best part of 18 months when I’ve been at the club. He’s just getting himself back where he should be and he’s got himself injured which is hard luck on him.

Has anyone asked to leave?

Not quite in the vocabulary as you’ve put it… I think the hardest part of being a footballer is when you’re not playing every week on a Saturday.

There’s going to be a time when you are going to knock on my door, and I know it’s coming.

I know what I was like when I didn’t play on a Saturday, I was a horrible, horrible individual.

I am sure there might be one or two going out, but I wouldn’t think there’s going to be many.

Enquiries for Tshibola?

Yes, one or two. He needs to go and play, that’s for sure. We will listen to offers for him. There’s one or two things bubbling away.

It’s fair to say that the rest is up to Aaron.

It hasn’t gone well for him at MK Dons. He will say, to be fair to him, that he played out of position.

We’re not making excuses for that. However, he’s still only young and the burden of a big money move to Aston Villa possibly was too big for him.

He’s got to go and establish himself. It’s a waste of time him playing under-23 football so if there’s a club out there for somebody like him, we’ll take it.

Can he still be a success at Villa?

At 23? Football changes in a week. Look at Tommy Elphick… We recall him and he was our best player at Brentford and he’s done very well in the last two games. That’s how quickly it changes.

This player you’re close to - is it a striker?

It could be.

Love of the game

Why do I put myself through it? It’s the closest thing to playing that I can get.

I was the luckiest person in the world to be involved playing for something like 20 years. That was the dream job.

I couldn’t think of a better job than what a footballer has got.

You’re paid handsomely to run around, keep fit and play on a Saturday - how can there be anything better?

So when it comes to an end we all get in a mess. No matter who you are there comes a time when your career finishes and you think, ‘Oh my god, what am I going to do now?’.

You’re practically institutionalised.

If I say to these players to come in at eight o’clock tomorrow morning, they’re in.

If I say to come in at 10 o’clock, they’re in.

You’ve got to be in by a certain time, they’re in. You have to eat a certain way, you have to be in if I call it, you are practically institutionalised in what you do.

And when you leave it it becomes a huge gap and, of course, your ego likes to be tickled with the adulation that you receive.

I was going to try and coach kids, I was going to put something back into the community and I got a phone call out the blue to be player/manager at Sheffield so I thought, ‘Why not?’.

I’m not regretting it but if the decision was now, especially because you have to go and earn your stripes with B Licence, A Licence - it can take you six years.

All that preparation and you get a job and you can be out on your ear if it doesn’t go well for six weeks.

A lot of people think there’s a roundabout that we get on and off and that’s not quite true either, there’s a lot of young managers in the lower divisions who get one chance at it and don’t grasp it and they’re done for.

So, now I can understand why the big player ends up in the media. There’s no stability in it anymore.