By Amir Mir

Aston Villa owner Tony Xia has blasted “nonsense” claims from Jordan Veretout, after he claimed the Midlands club avoided paying an appearance add-on fee to his former club FC Nantes.

The 23-year-old midfielder, who is now on-loan at Ligue 1 outfit Saint-Etienne, joined the Midlands giants in the summer of 2015.

Veretout played 29 games in all competitions last season, but did not feature again for the then-Premier League club, after the sacking of Remi Garde in March, as he questioned the decision not to play him.

The club’s new chief, Xia, was quick to shutdown the Frenchman’s claims, as he provided his opinion on the matter.

“I don’t think any previous manager would care about how much bonus the club paid. Nonsense,” Xia wrote on his personal Twitter account.

The much-criticised Randy Lerner sold the now-Championship club to Xia in the summer, after their relegation.

In the summer there were a number of high-profile departures at the club, with former Chief Executive Tom Fox and head of recruitment Paddy Riley sacked as a result of the club’s relegation.

During his short stay at Villa Park, Veretout failed to score a goal in 29 games and provided only five assists in all competitions.

In other Aston Villa team news, the Midlands club have sent scouts to watch a Champions League fixture, as they aim to strengthen the squad in January.