Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce has been told he has to sell his star players this summer, and in doing so must raise funds to the tune of £50m, in order to avoid Financial Fair Play sanctions.
The likes of Jack Grealish, Jonathan Kodija and James Chester have been linked with an exit as the club faces up to a potential financial crisis, as reported by the Mirror.
Owner Tony Xia reportedly summoned Bruce, technical director Steve Round and other recruitment figures for crunch talks this week, in which he laid out the financial issues facing the club, caused largely by their relegation from the Premier League a year ago.
Their problems have been exacerbated by their failure to bounce back to the Premier League – with the Villans losing out 1-0 to Fulham at Wembley in the play-off final.
The sale of star man Jack Grealish – a rare shining light in the Villa performance at Wembley – is expected to account for a significant wedge of the funds required, with Spurs the most recent side to be heavily linked with a swoop for the 21 year old.
However, the £15m bid reportedly submitted by Spurs is thought to put them behind Leicester in negotiations, who are seemingly closer to meeting Villa’s £40m valuation of the midfielder.
Elsewhere, John Terry has been let go by Villa to free up wages, but right-back Alan Hutton has signed a contract extension for next season, amid reported interest from Nottingham Forest.