By Noel Whelan

16th Feb, 2021 | 12:00pm

Whelan tips Edens & Sawiris to fund another 'big' Aston Villa spending spree

Noel Whelan has tipped Aston Villa to spend big again this summer and claimed the club are under no pressure to sell their star players. 

The former Leeds United attacker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insists Dean Smith will want to keep his top performers with the club looking to clinch a European finish in the Premier League.

Villa currently sit eighth in the league but if they win their two games in hand they would draw level with Chelsea in fourth place.

The Villains’ key men are reportedly the subject of much interest from other top Premier League sides with The Athletic claiming Ezri Konsa is on the radar of Liverpool and Tottenham.

Owners Wes Edens and Naseef Sawiris have funded massive spending sprees in each of the previous summer windows and Whelan expects a repeat.

Asked if Villa can fend off bids for their star men, he told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs:

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“Absolutely. Aston Villa have assembled a really good squad.

“They’re not a selling club and they’re not in need of money. They’re a team who are going to build again in the summer and I expect them to spend big as well. 

“It’s great that players are getting well-deserved recognition. Smith won’t be wanting to sell any of these players because he’s building a squad there. 

“They could be in Europe next season, let’s not forget that. He wants to keep these quality players because if they are in Europe, they’ll want to be successful. 

“They’re not under pressure to sell any players. It’ll only come down to if a player wants to leave, then you’ve got an issue. 

“I think if they get into Europe and finish strongly in the Premier League then most players will be in a really good place.”

Villa were held to a 0-0 draw with Brighton at the weekend as they couldn’t break down the relegation strugglers.

Smith’s side will look to get back to winning ways next time out in the Premier League against Leicester City.

In other Aston Villa news, Danny Mills has placed Dean Smith in his ranking of top managers.