By Amir Mir

Aston Villa owner Tony Xia has blocked Joe Bennett’s proposed transfer to Sheffield Wednesday, according to a report.

The Birmingham Mail claim the left-back passed a medical and agreed personal terms with Wednesday but Xia has intervened at the eleventh hour.

It is said the Villa owner does not wish to sell to a Championship promotion rival despite manager Roberto Di Matteo giving the all-clear to Bennett’s sale.

The Birmingham Mail, citing sources close to Wednesday manager Carlos Carvahal, claim the Portugese is now pursuing other targets.

It was only on Tuesday that Sky Sports were reporting a contract had been agreed between Bennett and Carlos Carvahal’s side.

The 26-year-old was on loan with the Owls last season, as the defender has only amassed 30 appearances for Villa since making a £2.75 million move from Middlesbrough in 2012 for then-manager Paul Lambert.

However, it remains to be seen whether this is a reaction to the club’s humiliating 3-1 defeat at the hands of Luton on Wednesday night.

A number of players, including left-back Jordan Amavi underperformed for the club, but the Frenchman was returning from a long injury lay-off.

Di Matteo’s other left-back is Aly Cissokho who was also criticised by supporters for his performance last Sunday in the club’s 1-0 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday.


But, since the club’s defeat to Luton, Sky Sports have announced a £7 million bid has been accepted for West Brom defender James Chester.

In other Aston Villa transfer news, Premier League side Swansea are looking to replace the departed Andre Ayew with his younger brother Jordan.