Aston Villa revival continues after Bruce lands double-swoop

Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce has made another pair of signings to his squad, with the arrival of James Bree and Birkir Bjarnason.

The highly-rated Bree has swapped Barnsley’s Oakwell for Villa Park while Bjarnason was signed from Swiss outfit Basel.

The deals are believed to total around £3.15m, with Bjnarnason – who shone for Iceland in the Euros – the slightly more expensive acquisition at £1.75m.

Bruce has already signed Henri Lansbury from Nottingham Forest, and goalkeeper Sam Johnstone from Manchester United.

Funds have been freed up following the sale of Rudy Gestede for Middlesbrough for around £6m.

Arsenal’s Chuba  Akpom has been touted as a potential signing in the coming days.

And Bruce could do a lot more in the remaining time, should the club find a buyer for wantaway striker Ross McCormack.

The striker was signed for £12m just last summer from Fulham, but has failed to settle in the area.

The relationship between player and club has completely broken down, with the Scottish forward refusing to train – and coming up with a number of excuses to explain himself.

With just a week until the January window shows, Villa are running out of time to avoid finding themselves lumped with a big-money striker who doesn’t want to play.

The Midlands club suffered a blow earlier this week when Fulham ruled themselves out of the running to re-sign the 30-year-old.

But for now Bruce is focusing on the men who do want to play in claret and blue, and now he’s got another two players to call upon.

The bookies make Villa 12/1 to be promoted back into the Premier League.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing