By Alex McLeish

14th May, 2021 | 1:00pm

McLeish backs Aston Villa to buy multiple 'top-quality' signings after 'amazing' Smith reveal

Alex McLeish has backed Aston Villa to continue spending big on “top-quality” signings this summer.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Villa boss insisted Wes Edens and Nassef Sawiris had done an “amazing” job of turning the club around.

Speaking to the Birmingham Mail, manager Dean Smith called the Villa owners the “real deal” and revealed their plans of challenging for the Champions League places and eventually the Premier League.

He insisted the Villans had the financial firepower to close the gap to those at the top, with “lots of plates spinning” ahead of the transfer window.

McLeish heralded the Villans’ transformation and suggested only financial fair play could stop their ambitious plans.

McLeish told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge: “It’s amazing, yeah. They have backed the manager hugely with transfer money and top-quality players.

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“That gives any manager the comfort to let him get on with his job. Dean Smith has worked well in the transfer market to get some really high-quality players. 

“It will be down to financial fair play as well. There are rules and curbs that are in the rulebook. Will Dean see more of this team, this squad, that he can get even more out of them and go to an even higher level?

“Or does he see one or two weaknesses he can drop from the team and elevate another top-quality signing into a key position? That is the thing for him and the board to consider, and I expect they will sign them if they can.

“I’ve always felt that there’s only a handful of teams that can continue to spend the money that keeps them where they are in the Champions League, league winners. You’ll get the odd team winning the cup but I feel it will be hard for others to overtake the top teams.” 

Villa were on the brink of a financial crisis under Tony Xia when Edens and Sawiris arrived in 2018.

However, the Villans spent over £100million on transfers upon promotion back to the Premier League.

They broke their transfer record last summer for Ollie Watkins, while Matty Cash, Bertrand Traore and Ross Barkley also joined Smith’s squad.

In other news, an Aston Villa recruitment chief is set to stay after talks with rival club.