Steve Bruce isn’t a man to be messed with, and the Aston Villa boss has put his foot down over Ross McCormack’s recent antics.
The 30-year-old forward has missed several training sessions, and claimed his electric gates being broken was one reason why he couldn’t attend.
But of course, that hasn’t washed with Bruce, who has seen it all during more than 30 years in the game.
The former Manchester United defender dropped the Scottish striker for the weekend’s game with Preston, and it’s believed Villa will entertain offers for McCormack – if they arrive.
The Midlands outfit splashed out £12m on the 30-year-old from Fulham last summer, hoping he could become a springboard for a quick return to the Premier League.
But now it seems inconceivable that the former Cardiff striker will return to Villa Park anytime soon, if at all.
Bruce has moved to bring in Henri Lansbury from Nottingham Forest, but that doesn’t solve the fact that Villa are essentially £12m out of pocket.
McCormack’s actions are believe to stem from a failure to settle in the area, following the move up from west London.
That might pique the interest of West Ham, who are continuing to seek a striker.
If they’re willing to spend upwards of £15m on Brentford’s Scott Hogan, they could certainly put in a bid for the wantaway Villa forward before next Tuesday’s deadline.
The Villans sit nine points off the top six, but with 19 games still to go, that’s a catchable deficit.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing