Villa have appointed our first every Sporting Director with Hendrik Almstadt joining the club from Arsenal. In a position that seemingly many clubs have had in place for years, Tom Fox has moved swiftly to snap up the German from his former employer. The move is reassuring in itself given that the CEO knows exactly who he’s appointing.
The 40 year old Almstadt is expected to hold responsibilities including scouting, contracts, data analytics and oversight of the club’s academy system & his role does not extend to day to day team matters.
Mason Holgate, the impressive 18 year old player who broke through at Barnsley last season, is reported to be in training with Manchester United. It was expected that the youngster would transfer to Villa in a one million pound deal, but is currently on trial at Old Trafford with Swansea also monitoring the situation.
The chase for Christian Benteke now appears to be hotting up. Liverpool, flush from the sale of want-away Raheem Sterling are preparing a bid, whilst Manchester United are expected to go into direct competition with their rivals for the Belgians signature.
If reports are to be believed Liverpool are expected to table a below transfer release clause bid in the region of £25m, possibly with the inclusion of a player or players. Manchester United are predicted to test both Villa & Liverpool’s resolve with either a higher bid or one which activates the release clause.
A move to Liverpool, would baffle many, especially given they look even less likely to be competing amongst the games elite than last season. Whilst a move to United always provokes a wince, at least Benteke would be truly competing at the highest level with a chance of domestic & European honours.
With that said, strange things can happen, as with Delph…you never know your luck…
And in the ongoing quest to secure French fullback Jordan Amavi, Villa have been forced to extend themselves to a deal of at least £10 million plus addons to obtain his services. No doubt this is a significant investment, in an attempt to secure a highly prized rising star of European defending & resolve a troublesome fullback spot.
Established in 2011 - The Villa Underground is an independent Aston Villa social-blog & website. Featuring pre-match discussion, post match reaction, opinion, satire, a podcast, news & social media comment on all matters affecting AVFC.