Middlesbrough assistant manager Steve Agnew is expected to be targeted by Steve Bruce if he is given the Aston Villa job.

Boro braced for coach approach

Boro braced for coach approach

The Daily Telegraph claims Bruce - who told Sky Sports' Goals on Sunday show that he has held discussions about becoming Roberto Di Matteo's successor at Villa Park - is keen to bring in his own backroom staff.

Agnew is understood to be top of Bruce's wishlist, with the pair having previously worked together at Hull City for over two years.

Bruce and Agnew secured promotion back to the Premier League and a run to the FA Cup final during their time together at the KCOM.

So it would be no surprise to hear of Bruce making an approach with his close friend in his next role.

Speaking to the Hull Daily Mail in November, Bruce said: "Before you talk about his ability as a coach or an assistant, you have to say he's a really good man.

"He was very enjoyable to work with. His glass was always half full. He never ever lets himself get too down.

"He's always bubbly and lively and on top of that he's a very good coach. I enjoyed working with him immensely for two and a half years."

Agnew replaced Craig Hignett as Aitor Karanka's second in command last season and took charge of Boro for one game in March following a training ground bust-up which led to the manager's brief absence from the dugout.