By Noel Whelan

3rd Nov, 2022 | 3:00pm

Pundit suggests 'big' Aston Villa development could block January signings after Unai Emery reveal

Noel Whelan has suggested dropping into the Premier League’s bottom three could prevent Aston Villa from attracting their top targets in January.

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, claimed there is “every chance” Villa could plunge into the drop zone over the World Cup ahead of games against Brighton and Man United.

Football Insider revealed last month 27 October that Villa’s owners are ready to hand Emery a “huge” transfer kitty ahead of the January window.

This site updated on Thursday (3 November) to reveal that the Midlands giants have made £40million-rated Villarreal star Pau Torres their top target.

Aston Villa head into this weekend’s (6 November) game against Man United in 16th place – just one point above 18th-place Leicester City.

Whelan claimed the Villa Park club will have “a big stink hanging over them in January” if Emery can’t make an instant impact.

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He told Football Insider’s Ewan Kingsbury: “Emery has got two very difficult games coming up.

“Brighton are playing well and Man United have changed their fortunes under a new manager. There’s every chance they could be in the bottom three over the World Cup.

“They’re not doing any job correctly at the moment. They’re making a real mess all over the pitch, the small details are all wrong – and that costs you.

“If they carry on the way they’re going, it’ll be a big stink hanging over them in January. They’ve spent a lot of money already, but some players could be put off by seeing Aston Villa sitting in the relegation zone.”

In other news, Gabby Agbonlahor backs Emery to bomb out Aston Villa big names after source’s “huge” reveal.