By Amir Mir
Roberto Di Matteo is only interested in Aston Villa players who are “fully committed” to the club – after Adama Traore’s bombshell that he wants to quit.
Owner Tony Xia confirmed reports from the Birmingham Mail on Wednesday night that the 20-year-old held talks with Di Matteo this week, where he informed the Italian of his desire to leave the Midlands club.
It is said manager Di Matteo spoke to the player after the 3-0 win over Rotherham last weekend and subsequently left Traore out of the matchday squad for the 1-1 draw with Huddersfield on Tuesday night.
The former Champions League winner has now clarified his stance on the former Barcelona player and has given a clear message to his squad.
“It’s very simple,” said Di Matteo during his press conference prior to the game against Derby. “He expressed wishes to move, to look elsewhere. I need players who are fully committed to us.”
Villa fans besieged Xia with messages after the Birmingham Mail report and the club owner admitted on his personal Twitter account on Wednesday night that Traore is “not happy staying at Villa” and wants to leave.
Former Villa owner Randy Lerner shelled out £7million for the Barca teenager last August, with a further £5million agreed in potential add-ons.
The Sun claims that the Midlands club handed Traore a staggering £60,000-a-week basic salary, rising to £100,000 a week if he managed to keep Villa in the Premier League.
Since moving from the Catalan giants a year ago, Traore has made 12 league appearances but is yet to start a single league game or complete a full game.
Traore’s sole appearance this season was a cameo off the bench during the side’s 3-0 over Alan Stubb’s Rotherham last weekend.
In other Aston Villa transfer news, a number of European clubs are targeting the Championship side’s 26-year-old.