Alan Hutton has tipped Aston Villa to open contract talks with Ezri Konsa and offer him a big pay hike.
The former Holte End favourite, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the 23-year-old’s “standout” performances warranted a new deal and warned his demands could change if he becomes an international player.
The Athletic‘s David Ornstein has reported there is transfer interest from the likes of Liverpool and Spurs in the centre-back.
But Villa are keen to extend the 23-year-old’s contract past its current 2023 expiry date.
As well as the Villans’ Premier League rivals, Konsa is also said to be on the radar of England manager Gareth Southgate.
The former Brentford defender has established himself as a regular for Dean Smith this season and has helped the Villans sit eighth in the top-flight table.
Hutton suggested Villa would not wait around to try tying Konsa down to a new deal and insisted he was deserving of an improved contract.
“I can’t see them waiting too long, in terms of contract length, a couple of seasons left is nothing really for one who’s become one of your prized assets,” Hutton told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge.
“The thing is, if he was to make an England squad, everything changes, the whole dynamic, everything, changes because you’re now an international player. Villa are going to want to keep hold of him.
“He’s got so much more to give, he’s so young and in my opinion, he’s only going to get better. I wouldn’t be waiting around, that’s just my opinion, I would want to tie him down because they obviously see the potential is there.
“Whether they tie him down now to a long deal for a better financial package later on, then so be it, it’s worth giving him the extra. The main fact is he deserves it. They’re not just giving a contract to somebody just to give them it because their contract is running down.
“He deserves it, he’s been standout this season and I don’t think anybody could argue with that.”