The Aston Villa fans in the Transfer Tavern are expressing genuine concern over the state of their club’s financial situation and with good reason, but recent reports suggest they could be handed a lifeline from America this summer.
Aston Villa’s failure to clinch promotion via the playoffs last season has left the club’s owner Tony Xia in a dire financial situation which could eventually force him to sell the club. According to a report from The Times, American businessman Peter B Freund is preparing to line up a £75 million bid to purchase Aston Villa this summer – a deal which should ease their financial crisis and enable them to build a squad capable of pushing for promotion.
The extent of Freund’s wealth is relatively unknown at this stage, but a deal to buy the club would surely wipe Villa’s debts and give them a clean slate from which to build. Keeping Jack Grealish at the club will represent a huge priority for the club this summer, but as their most valuable individual player it’s unlikely that Villa will be able to resist the huge offers which are expected to arrive from Premier League clubs for his services.
With that in mind, Steve Bruce should plan ahead for the future under Freund and identify a handful of players who could boost Villa’s hopes of securing promotion. A permanent deal may be slightly out of their financial reach, but Villa should consider making an audacious loan bid for Islam Slimani (valued at £16.2 million by Transfermarkt) this summer to add a significant layer of quality to their attacking options.
Slimani fell down the pecking order at Leicester City last season amid competition for places from the likes of Jamie Vardy, Kelechi Iheanacho and Shinji Okazaki, and after an unsuccessful loan spell at Newcastle marred by injury, the Algerian should be open to the possibility of a new challenge this summer. Villa came desperately close to clinching promotion last season, but in the end they fell short of their ultimate ambition due to a lack of firepower in forward positions.
However, that could all change following Slimani’s arrival, as his presence would provide Bruce with a natural poacher who possesses both the natural knack of being in the right place at the right time and the physicality to terrorise defenders in the Championship, so Villa should definitely attempt to complete a loan deal this summer, providing Xia eventually manages to sell the club of course.
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