Aston Villa boss Dean Smith picks THREE top transfer targets if Villans seal promotion | Football | Sport
Aston Villa face Derby in the Championship play-off final with the reward being a return to England’s top division, along with a substantial financial boost.
But Villa are wasting no time in planning for next season as they are already preparing to begin talks to buy loan stars Tammy Abraham, Tyrone Mings and Axel Tuanzebe if they are promoted, reports the Mirror.
The three players have been in great form this season, as Villa have registered a club record 10-game winning streak, and club CEO Christian Purslow is now ready to use his contacts at old club Chelsea to try and land Abraham if Villa win promotion.
As part of the loan deal for Mings, Villa insisted on a matching clause should any club bid during the summer transfer window, while they also hope Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will listen to offers for Tuanzebe.
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Abraham, who is on loan from Chelsea, finished the season in second place in the Championship top scorers list with 26 goals and also chipped in with three assists.
The 21-year-old has been a key part of Villa’s promotion challenge and also scored the winning penalty in their shootout with West Brom, during their play-off semi-final clash.
Bournemouth defender Mings is rumoured to be open to a longer-term move to play for the claret and blues but Cherries boss Eddie Howe has previously suggested he wants the 26-year-old back at the club next season.
United defender Tuanzebe has also impressed in the Championship this season but Villa might struggle to pry him away from Old Trafford in the summer.
Solskjaer has reportedly been told by his staff that the 21-year-old could be the answer to their current defensive woes.
And it has been reported that after he has blossomed under the guidance of Smith and Villa coach John Terry, Tuanzebe is expected to be given an opportunity to show how far he has developed during United’s summer’s pre-season tour of Australia, China, and Singapore.
But for Villa winning promotion is essential if they want to retain the services of the trio.
According to the Mirror the club will struggle to meet the EFL’s profit and sustainability rules if they have to spend a fourth straight season in the Championship.
Whatever the outcome of the play-off final at Wembley a week Monday, Villa are expected to have a busy summer with several players approaching the end of their contracts.
If they choose to, the club could make substantial savings releasing Micah Richards, Tommy Elphick, Glenn Whelan, Mile Jedinak, Mark Bunn, Albert Adomah and Alan Hutton.
But one player who could be on his way out of the club – regardless of how Villa’s promotion challenge finishes – is Jack Grealish.
The 23-year-old has six goals and seven assists in the league this season and is expected to be in demand with several Premiership clubs interested in the midfielder, including West Ham and Tottenham.