This week has seen Doncaster Rovers defender Niall Mason being linked with a host of Championship clubs. The Sun is reporting that Sunderland, Birmingham City, Hull City and Leeds United all have an interest in the versatile player.
It comes after an excellent season at the Keepmoat Stadium for the 21-year-old. He has played 42 times for the club and has helped to keep them clear of the relegation zone in the third-tier.
His brilliant rise to prominence and links with Championship sides will not be good news for Aston Villa.
Mason was sold by the Midlands club to Doncaster in the summer for an undisclosed fee. That came after a successful season on loan at the Yorkshire club, but Aston Villa decided in the summer he was not in their long-term plans.
Mason joined Aston Villa in April 2015 from the Southampton academy. He arrived at Bodymoor Heath with plenty of promise. As a youngster, he had been in the cantera at Real Madrid. At Aston Villa he never made the breakthrough. The closest he came was watching Aston Villa lose to West Ham 2-0 from the bench during a Premier League clash in February 2016.
A confident ball-playing defender, Mason can play in any position across the defensive line and has been a key member of the Doncaster side this season. He has even played in a holding midfield role at times.
Now it seems Championship rivals are looking to sign Mason and Aston Villa must be wondering if they made a mistake letting him go.
Aston Villa are fighting for promotion this season, but should they fail in their hunt for Premier League football they will look to build once again for next campaign. Bringing back Mason might not be the worst idea from the Villans, rather than see him join a rival.