Here’s a wrap of some of the Aston Villa related stories doing the rounds in the past week…

Loan Buying vs FFP

Sam Johnstone and Joshua Onomah are looking increasingly to be potential England national team players for the future (that claim based on the bar not being that high).

As a result of the odd decent showing from the pair over the past week or so, Bruce has made light hearted comments about breaking the bank to sign them permanently.

Not. Going.To. Happen. Unless the ‘P’ word happens.

It’s the reality Villa face now, that if there’s no promotion, it’s unlikely Villa will be able to buy in recognised top English talent on permanent contracts. Never mind it being a lower league, the money is going to be tight hence forth.

“I really have not had the conversation with Jose. It will be one for nearer the time,” said Bruce on Johnstone. “As I have said repeatedly now, we are under the guards of Financial Fair Play.

“We have to be very careful what we do (with regard to (FFP). I have not had any conversations with people about that. I would not have thought it has changed that much.

“We are still under the restriction. If we can do a deal we will try our best.”

Talk about FFP showcases the shackles that will be on Villa next season, if they don’t win promotion. it’s not going to be pretty after the spend on transfer fees and wages since we’ve been in the Championship.

Golden Oldie

There’s been whispers according to the Daily Mirror that Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick, 36, is considering his immediate future with game time at United limited.

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While Villa have been mentioned, Villa already have Jedinak and Whelan as deep sitting midfielders, so it’s unlikely Bruce could justify another in the short-term from January to the end of the season.

The midfielder is out of contract at the end of the season, but Carrick will be 37 by the time the new season kicks off, so it’s unlikely he’ll sign permanently for an English team in the summer.

A strong possibility would be him retiring, if a decent short-term option doesn’t come up.

Jose Mourinho has recently hinted that he’d like to see Carrick stay around Old Trafford in a coaching capacity at youth level.

Hogan’s Run

With Scott Hogan a bit of a bystander in recent weeks, bar the odd cameo of a few minutes and touches, the  Sunday newspapers began speculating about the striker’s future.

Naturally, it’s to be expected, but unfortunately Villa did overspend on the striker and are now very unlikely to get close to that total (reported to be £9m raising to £12m and maybe beyond), if they tried to move him on this season.

It isn’t a simple equation as simply selling him to give Bruce some money to spend in January, due to Financial Fair Play limitations.

Bruce has only just bought him, it’s a long season and with Kodjia’s persistent injury issues, Hogan may have a chance to shine soon.

I think the earliest Hogan starts thinking about his career, in terms of any move away, would be at the end of the season, if things haven’t worked out this term.

Hepburn-Murphy Issues

You could consider Rushian Hepburn-Murphy a potential ready-made Hogan replacement back-up plan, but the young striker’s Villa career is in the balance as he continues to battle injury issues.

Villa boss is starting to express concern about the player who was the subject of a lot of local and social interest over whether he was going to sign a new contract or not.

“It’s a big disappointment because I’ve been here for a year and I’ve only seen him play a couple of times,” said Villa boss, Steve Bruce.

“His problems are on-going and it’s a concern because he keeps breaking down.”

“We hope that we can fix it because when I arrived he was the big talk, the young star of the academy, and now other players have taken over him because he’s been injured.”

Certainly with the likes of Callum O’Hare and Keinan Davis breaking through, it’s an even longer road now for Hepburn-Murphy to break in the first team squad, once he overcomes his injury.

UTV

 

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