WEST Bromwich Albion are desperate to open talks with Aston Villa this week in a bid to sign Scotland international right-back Alan Hutton.
Newly-installed Albion gaffer Alan Irvine is hoping to snap-up Hutton for a cut-price fee as he has less than a year left on his contract at Villa Park.
Hutton, 29, has not played for Villa since fellow Scot Paul Lambert was appointed as manager in the summer of 2012 and has since been loaned out to Nottingham Forest, Real Mallorca and Bolton.
Last season he played only seven matches - all for his country - up until a loan move at Bolton in March helped him clock up another nine appearances.
West Brom's move comes days after Hutton demanded another round of talks with Lambert in a bid to thrash out his future once and for all.
But he has started training again with the first-team this summer after his manager, who revealed in February that Hutton was being left in the cold because of his £40,000 a week wages, performed a U-turn.
Villa are now up for sale and have limited cash for new players, which is the reason Lambert has put the Scotland international back in his first team squad.
He has flatly told interested neighbours Albion that the former Rangers defender is not for sale.
But Hutton has told Lambert he fancies regular games and a longer contract at West Brom.