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Di Matteo to jet overseas for crunch talks as Aston Villa step up overhaul - report

By Amir Mir

Aston Villa owner Tony Xia will unveil manager Roberto Di Matteo to the Chinese media next week as he looks to grow the club’s brand overseas.

The Birmingham Mail report that, following Villa’s pre-season tour of Austria, the Italian will travel to China, where he will be presented in front of the media in Bejing alongside Xia and chief executive Keith Wyness.

Businessmen Xia owns Recon Group, a holding company that has the controlling interest in five publicly listed companies on the Hong Kong and Chinese stock exchanges. It is evident that the 39-year-old China man wants to target a market he is very familiar with.

It is said the press conference on Monday will be on behalf of the club and Recon group as the trio of Xia, Di Matteo and Wyness previously faced the English media in June.

Xia took over Villa Park in June when highly-criticised owner Randy Lerner sold the club for £76 million which has since seen three new additions added to the Villa squad.

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Defender Tommy Elphick for a fee of £3 million, including youngsters Aaron Tshibola and Pierluigi Gollini on long-term deals.

In other Aston Villa news, the club’s supporters have reacted with anger on Twitter as ticket prices for the first away day are released.