READING FC boss Jaap Stam wants to hijack Sunderland's bid to sign Aston Villa flop Ross McCormack, according to reports.

Villa boss Steve Bruce is understood to be keen on ousting McCormack from Villa Park less than 12 months after his £12m move from Fulham.

The 30-year-old failed to settle into life in the midlands and was loaned to Championship rivals Nottingham Forest in January after missing training. The striker later claimed he had a problem with his electronic gates.

McCormack, who has three years left on his contract at Villa Park, has attracted interest from Sunderland boss Simon Grayson. The former Preston North End boss is also on the verge of securing former Royals loanee Lewis Grabban on a season-long deal.

However, reports today state that Royals' boss Stam is also keen on landing McCormack's signature and could offer him a move back to the south-east.

Stam has already added Jon Dadi Bodvarsson to his strike force but with Yann Kermorgant out for the beginning of the season at least, the Dutchman has found himself short of options.

Stam was tracking Brighton forward Tomer Hemed but Chris Hughton rejected a £4m bid from the Royals, claiming the striker was going nowhere.

Now it appears Stam has turned his attention to McCormack, who scored three goals in 22 appearances for Villa last season.