Ross McCormack (left) in action for Aston Villa in the English Championship.
Ross McCormack (left) in action for Aston Villa in the English Championship. Michael Regan

Scottish striker heading south to Melbourne City

ASTON Villa striker Ross McCormack is now Melbourne City's no.1 target to become Bruno Fornaroli's injury replacement.

The former Championship top scorer is negotiating personal terms with City's Manchester-based football chief Brian Marwood, where he would complete a medical before his arrival in Melbourne.

Capped 13 times by Scotland, McCormack, 31, was a $20.3 million Villa signing last year but has been frozen out of the first-team plans of the promotion-chasing club.

McCormack, 31, made just his second appearance of the season in last Thursday's League Cup loss to Middlesbrough when he replaced injured Henri Lansbury on 41 minutes.

City refused to comment on McCormack, but it is understood that they have approached a host of Australian and visa options to replace Fornaroli, who will be out until at least December after fracturing his ankle in last month's FFA Cup win at Sydney Hakoah.

Villa manager Steve Bruce, who has had an indifferent relationship with McCormack, left him off the Villa teamsheet in this morning's win over Nottingham Forest and later revealed the move was imminent.

"I believe the clubs have agreed (Villa and Melbourne City). It's over to Ross,'' Bruce said.

"I wish him the best of luck no matter what people think and all the rest of it.

"He needs to go and play and get himself in the right condition for it. It could be the perfect fit for him.”

"I was a bit shocked about it but that's the brutal harsh reality about it - nobody came in for him (in England). Sunderland played at it but it didn't come through, unfortunately that's where we were left.”

The former Glasgow Rangers, Motherwell and Cardiff City striker's breakthrough came in the last of his four years at Leeds United, in 2013-14.

He was the English Championship's top scorer and made the PFA team of the season, with his 28-goal tally beating current Premier League players Jamie Vardy, Troy Deeney and Sam Vokes.

It led to a $19 million move to Fulham, where he scored 42 goals in 100 games.

McCormack signed a four-year deal with Villa in 2016, but netted just three goals and was sent out on loan to Notts Forrest where he scored once in seven games.

He drew the ire of Bruce when he missed training last season and McCormack has been given few chances since.