By Wayne Veysey

11th Apr, 2017 | 9:47am

Tony Xia hits out at tricksters on Twitter after Aston Villa striker speculation

By Harry Sykes

Tony Xia has slammed media and agent tricksters for unwarranted speculation surrounding Aston Villa man-of-the-moment Jonathan Kodjia.

The outspoken Villa owner took to Twitter on Tuesday morning to respond to a report that Everton and Stoke are interested in signing the Ivory Coast international this summer.

The Mirror claimed in the Monday printed edition of their newspaper (page 49) that the cash-rich Merseysiders and the Potters have renewed their interest in Kodjia, which was cited by the Villa Report Twitter account.

Xia is unimpressed by the speculation, blaming games from agents planting the story in the national press, and was keen to make public his displeasure.

“No more rumours, we need stability and calmness in dressing room,” Xia wrote on his personal Twitter account. “Don’t let media’s or agents’ tricks/games for now.”

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It is clear that the Villa hierarchy do not want Kodjia’s head turned by interest from Premier League clubs while the season is ongoing.

The Mail reported last summer that Everton had set their sights on Kodjia but he subsequently signed for Villa for a Championship-record £15million from Bristol City.

Kodjia has been outstanding during the Midlands club’s impressive run of seven wins and a draw from their last nine league matches.

The 27-year-old has scored eight goals in eight matches to lift his tally for the season to 19 league strikes from 37 matches.

It is a record bettered in the Championship this season by only four players, Leeds’ Chris Wood (24), Newcastle’s Dwight Gayle (22), Bristol City’s Tammy Abraham and Brighton’s Glenn Murray (both 21).

Everton will be in the market for new forwards this summer amid considerable doubt over whether Romelu Lukaku will still be at the club next season after he delivered the bombshell last month that he will not sign a new contract.

In other Aston Villa news, talks are to get underway as a proven Premier League performer wants to join the Midlands club.

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