By Richard Parks
Steve Bruce has revealed that veteran defender Alan Hutton is heading for the Aston Villa exit door because the club can’t afford to offer him a new contract.
The Villa manager has told the right-back, 33, that the club do not have the resources to hand him a new deal as they look to comply with financial fair play regulations.
Hutton’s contract expires in June after he signed a 12-month extension to his old deal in March of last year that was triggered by playing a stipulated number of matches.
The former Tottenham and Rangers player, who moved to Villa Park in 2011, has been a regular since Bruce took over in October 2016 and has started 16 of the club’s last 18 league fixtures, even filling in at left-back on a few occasions.
Bruce admits he has held talks with Hutton in which he has made it clear that he has no future at the club as things stand.
As quoted by the Birmingham Mail, Bruce said: “I think I said to Alan, I had to be honest with him to say, ‘Look, at this position where we are we’re not in a position to offer anybody a new contract.
“The way the situation with the club is in finances and Financial Fair Play and I think we all need to know where we are, whether we’re in the Championship or we’re in the Premier League – if we’re in the Championship we’ll have to cut, it’s as straightforward as that.
“I’ve spoken to the people above me and we’re not in a position to offer anybody a new contract just yet. Alan Hutton has been in a situation where I’ve been here for 15 months and he’s done terrifically well. But we’ll have to look after the club and sometimes my job is to look after the club too.
“Let’s see where we are and see what happens. It’s not the end of the world for Alan Hutton because I’ve no doubt there will be takers from what we’re seeing at the moment.”
Hutton has been at Villa since 2011, but that time has been punctuated by three loan spells at Nottingham Forest, Mallorca and Bolton Wanderers.
In total, he has made 158 appearances for Villa after lengthy spells at Tottenham and boyhood club Rangers.
In other Aston Villa transfer news, the club have hijacked a major rivals’ bid to sign a £15million-valued centre-forward.