The Lowdown: Contract demands
Chukwuemeka, who Steven Gerrard has backed to be “a big player”, is into the final 12 months of his Villa deal. He has been linked with an exit after rejecting a new contract and was left out of the squad that travelled to Australia for a pre-season tour.
FI revealed earlier in the month that the 18-year-old is holding out for a new contract worth £100,000-a-week and is attracting interest from both Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain.
The Latest: Kenny reacts
While all the talk recently has been of Gerrard’s decision to hand John McGinn the armband instead of Tyrone Mings, Kenny is still in disbelief at the news on the young midfielder.
Talking to FI, the former Premier League shot-stopper labelled Chukwuemeka’s reported demands as ‘ridiculous’ and said that ‘football has gone crazy’ with the figures mentioned.
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“They have to do everything in their power to keep him.
“But if you are paying an 18-year-old who is not at Premier League level £100,000-a-week, that’s another level, ridiculous.
“If it was bonus related, then I could maybe understand but that as a straight-up wage is far too much at that age.
“Villa will get something for him if he goes but obviously they could get a lot more if he signs that deal.
“It’s a tough one because how can an 18-year-old at Aston Villa ask for that much money? Football has gone crazy.
“It’s not like he has come in and scored 20 goals, he is an unbelievable player and I do think he will be a star.
“The only thing I can think of is that he really wants to leave as soon as possible, but then just say that instead of demanding the money.”
The Verdict: Crazy indeed
Chukwuemeka is clearly a potential future star with some of Europe’s biggest clubs keen on his services, however, he has only made two Premier League starts, so to start demanding a £100,000-a-week salary is, as Kenny says, crazy.
You’d expect that Villa will want to keep hold of the versatile midfielder, but they won’t be held to ransom and Gerrard certainly won’t go easy on such bizarre demands, so a summer exit could well materialise.
That may suit all parties as Villa would be in line to receive a fee and Chukwuemeka could get his big salary, but leaving it until the New Year would mean Villa could lose him for next to nothing.
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