McLeish tips Aston Villa to replace duo with 'next level' signings after confirmed update

Alex McLeish has tipped Aston Villa to make up to two top-quality signings this summer.

The former Villa boss, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested Dean Smith needed to replace a couple of his first-team squad ahead of next season.

As quoted by Sky Sports, Smith admitted he is not expecting a “massive summer” in terms of new signings.

However, he did state the Villans have a “lot of plates spinning” heading into the transfer window.

Villa spent a reported £81million on four permanent signings last year, including a record-breaking deal for Ollie Watkins.

“The last thing you want to do is to be buying six or seven players,” McLeish told Football Insider’s Russell Edge.

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“You kind of upset the applecart a wee bit and you can lose about momentum with that. Also, the momentum that you’ve already kind of established. 

“Let’s face it, they didn’t lose every game without Jack Grealish. They still have formidable players in there. There’s just probably one or two positions that need to be kind of renewed, I think.

“One or two slots, guys who have brought Villa from the Championship to the Premier League. They deserve all credit in the world but to go to the next level?

“That’s where Aston Villa will probably be looking. They’ll probably be looking to do that to try and get a European place somewhere along the line.

“When you consider the spending of mostly every Premier League club in the league, Sheffield United were paying a combined £40million for two strikers. They went down, so it’s extremely difficult these days to stay in that division without spending some money.”

Squad regulars Tom Heaton, Ahmed Elmohamady and Neil Taylor are all set to be out of contract at the end of June.

As revealed by Football Insider, the shot-stopper has turned down a new deal and has verbally agreed to join Manchester United.

In other news, Aston Villa backed to sign top-flight attacker Jack Grealish is “very keen” to link up with.