Up until the investment last week of Aston Villa’s new owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens’s, in terms of transfer activity around B6, it was tumble weed territory. Villa had been reportedly under an EFL-imposed transfer embargo , although from the sounds of the club’s financial strife they didn’t have a dime to spend on players anyway.
Now though, with the arrival of Sawiris and Edens, there seems to be some FFP wiggle room for Steve Bruce to make Villa relevant once again in this transfer window (meanwhile, the Blue remain somewhat irrelevant). It’s expected that the Villa boss will get at least a couple of loans in to bolster the ranks.
Since the new owners have come in, they have also given Bruce the confidence from their talks to declare he doesn’t have to sell anyone in this window. Still though, the rumour mills whirl in terms of Jack Grealish and James Chester, but now there are also stories of incoming players.
Here’s the latest transfer wrap…
As most supporters will know already Atlético Madrid keeper, Andre Moreira has been training with Villa and made the trip to Dresden at the weekend. The 6’4, 22-year-old Portuguese keeper hasn’t played for his mother club yet, but has gained experience on various loans.
The official announcement should happen soon with Villa needing competition for Jed Steer, who’s blooper against Dynamo Dresden didn’t inspire confidence in him.
Ironically, Moreira is a client of the Gestifute agency owned by super agent Jorge Mendes, who’s dealings with Wolves, Villa’s board voiced suspicion about to the EFL last season.
The Big JG Question
MOMS has always stood our ground on the belief that Jack Grealish to Spurs wasn’t such a done deal. Spurs were always likely to try and lowball Villa at the end of the window for a player who wouldn’t break into their first XI straight away.
That outlook of Spurs, who are still reported not to have actually made a bid, bought Villa time in which much needed fresh investment was found and resulted in a ‘hands off’ notice being put up.
There’s two important considerations still in play here though. Number one, Villa will need Grealish to mount a promotion challenge with, so it wouldn’t look good for the new owners to sell him. And secondly, Villa still need to make up on FFP somehow (they still have the January window to sell players though, if needed).
So, the question is, will Villa’s resolve be tested this window?
Originally, the shop window price in the press was £40m, now it’s settling at around £25m.
MOMS’ feeling/hope is this might roll over to the next transfer window. It’ll give Grealish a chance to check on Villa’s promotion potential and Spurs maybe able to really take advantage of Villa, since it’ll be their last transfer window to fix any existing FFP issues.
According to the Daily Mail, Stoke City upped their bid to £10m, despite it being previously reported that no offers have been received so far. From what Steve Bruce declared after the Dresden friendly, it doesn’t seem the Potters have any chance of getting him. The new owners arrival has been perfectly timed for both fans and the player, who I’m sure didn’t want to leave for another Championship club.
It’s been reported that Gary Rowett has verbally waved the white flag on the deal, although he’s still in search of a centre back or two.
Considering Robert Snodgrass cost Villa a reported £40,000-a-week and maybe an additional loan fee, it’s hard to see Villa being in a position to pay for such high-end loans this season.
Maybe it’s just Villa fan sentimentality that has prompted the story in the press, since they took to the player while he was at Villa. There’s the hooks of Bruce would like to have him back and the situation of Snodgrass being uncertain of how much football he’d get under Manuel Pellegrini.
There is deadline day potential, if Bruce can get him on decent terms, since the player is already familiar with the Villa set-up and could slot straight in. On the other hand, Snodgrass is more likely to give it a go at the Hammers and use the January window as a an escape route, if things don’t turn out right.
With Scott ‘Sick Note’ Hogan having missed pre-season and the end of Lewis Grabban’s loan period (now signed to Nottingham Forest), Bruce will have a striker on the top of his shopping list.
We’ve previously mentioned interest in Liverpool’s Ben Woodburn on loan, but the update on that is he is scheduled for a medical at Sheffield United. Villa were the favourites, but according to Daily Telegraph writer John Percy, an appearance clause may have dampened Villa interest.
Villa were in for him and were favourites over the weekend – but Liverpool put in huge penalty clauses if loan players don’t play enough games, which probably explains why he is going to Sheff U
— John Percy (@JPercyTelegraph) July 31, 2018
Meanwhile, it’s thought that Villa’s top priority is getting in more of an out-and-out striker option. West Ham’s Jordan Hugill is one name that has cropped up in the media, and surely Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham is on Bruce’s list; he had a very decent loan spell with Bristol City in the Championship and a fairly decent one with Swansea in the Premier League last season.
There has already been reported competition for Abraham’s services, so Villa would do well to snag him.
After Bruce said Villa would “endeavour to be active” in terms of getting a striker in, there’s no doubt the Villa boss will have a list of potential striker loans to work through.
Lastly, if you think Brentford will let Ryan Woods go for £3m, you’ve been fooled by fake Twitter rumours!
Also, the old ‘Bruce has inquired about Wigan’s Nick Powell’ (£5m according to The Sun) has been rehashed once again. Jack Grealish would have to leave first for that to have any legs at all.