By Matt Farr
Aston Villa chief executive Keith Wyness has revealed that the club could be set to axe as many as 10 players from the first-team squad this summer.
Wyness has hinted there could be a massive clear-out at Villa Park over the coming months, as the club attempt to stay in line with Financial Fair Play regulations.
Manager Steve Bruce has been told that he must first sell before he can look to buy new players this summer, and the Telegraph claim he is hoping to raise as much as £25million from sales.
Wyness also revealed that talks are underway among club officials about up to four new signings.
He told the Telegraph: “There is a lot of tidying up and we have got to cut back. I would think there could be up to ten players going out this summer, which is probably right.
“Steve has got three or four targets that he wants and I can do that from the disposal of the players. We already have plans and are in discussions.
“There are a number of players on loan who we know the clubs want that we can sell and at the same time adhere to financial fair play rules, which are there, and very clear for us.”
It is further reported that 28-year-old Micah Richards is among the list of senior stars likely to be offloaded by Bruce, with the defender having fallen down the pecking order at the club.
Carlos Sanchez has already completed a £2.5million move to Fiorentina after a successful loan spell, but many more are expected to follow including Jordan Amavi, Aaron Tshibola, Tommy Elphick and Jordan Veretout.
Veretout faces an uncertain future at Villa Park having been offloaded on loan to Saint-Etienne at the start of the season. The midfielder has yet to be fully assessed by Bruce, but he looks set to be axed this summer.
He signed for Villa in a £9million deal in 2015, and could raise considerable funds for the club.
Meanwhile, it is understood that Amavi is attracting interest from France, while both Tshibola and Elphick are on the radar of Championship clubs.
Football Insider verdict
Wyness’ revelation comes as little surprise, considering the sheer number of changes the club have made to their first-team squad over the past year. Both Bruce and his predecessor Roberto Di Matteo attempted to put their own stamp on the squad, signing a lot of players, but very few players were offloaded in return. Bruce, for example, made no fewer than eight first-team additions in January, and it is inevitable that he will now have to balance the books this summer. Richards and co have struggled for regular opportunities in the first-team this season, while their returning loan stars are unlikely to find themselves a key role to come back to. The big question is whether or not they can raise the money they expect from sales, without offloading a key player.
In other Aston Villa transfer news, Wyness has also made a revelation about the future of this Villa star, and fans won’t be happy.