The Sun says Bruce is ready to step in at Aston Villa if Roberto Di Matteo fails to get his expensive side going — despite once managing arch-rivals Birmingham.
Ex-Blues boss Bruce is keen on a return to management after leaving Hull following their promotion.
And he has told pals that trying to wake sleeping giant Villa appeals to him.
Bruce, 55, knows he will face a tough battle to win over the Villa fans because of his links with the blue half of Birmingham.
But the owners may ignore that and look instead at his remarkable record of taking clubs to the big time.