By Harvey Byrne
Aston Villa’s Twitter-friendly chairman Tony Xia has told a fan he won’t pay for Joe Bennett to play for other sides.
The Birmingham Mail reported in August that the Chinese businessman had pulled the plug on the 26-year-old full-back’s move to Championship rivals Sheffield Wednesday.
Xia has now responded to a fan on his personal Twitter account, who posed the question as to why the club won’t just let Bennett leave.
“Simple and fair. We won’t pay for him to play for others. Either cutting wages to play for others, or getting full play by club to watch,” said Xia on the social media platform.
Simple&fair.We won't pay4him 2play 4others.Either cutting wages 2play 4others or getting full pay by club 2watch. https://t.co/RpSz9my7t0
— Dr. Tony Xia (@Dr_TonyXia) August 25, 2016
The return of left-back Jordan Amavi, who suffered an anterior cruciate ligament tear last season as well as Aly Cissokho has pushed Bennett, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Hillsborough down the pecking order.
Bennett moved to Villa Park in 2012 for a £2.75million fee from Middlesbrough under then manager Paul Lambert.
The full-back has entered the final year of his contract and he has played in just 38 encounters during his four-year stay at the club.
Bennett played in just one Capital One Cup match for the Villans last season in which the club suffered relegation to the Championship, as the defender had an unsuccessful loan spell at Bournemouth as well as Wednesday.
In other Aston Villa transfer news, Wigan Athletic will turn their attention to Villa defender Alan Hutton if they fail in a bid to land Hearts defender Callum Paterson.