Aston Villa owner reveals cull will take place this week with up to four players offloaded

Aston Villa owner Tony Xia has revealed that he expects to see between three or four first-team players leave the club this week.

Following their relegation from the Premier League last season, the club have been re-energised by the arrival of the Chinese businessman, who swiftly moved to appoint Roberto Di Matteo as the new manager.

In turn, the Italian has already brought in Pierluigi Gollini, Tommy Elphick and Aaron Tshibola this summer, but will now look to trim his squad down.

In an ideal world, Villa supporters will hope to see many of the players that failed to deliver last year go first, but it remains to be seen who is pushed out with Xia stopping short of naming names.

As noted by The Birmingham Mail, Scott Sinclair has been heavily linked with a move to Celtic this summer, and could very well be one of the first to go this week.

However, the likes of Gabby Agbonlahor, Joleon Lescott, Leandro Bacuna and Jordan Veretout were amongst the group to receive the most criticism for their performances on the pitch as well as some of their antics off it too last year.

In turn, with up to four players set to leave this week, it will give Villa a further seven days to bring in more new players ahead of the Championship kicking off with their trip to Sheffield Wednesday on August 7.

As with many other managers around Europe, Di Matteo will likely to continue to assess targets and options until the window closes, but ideally he’ll want the new faces in place ready for the start of the new campaign.

Based on pre-season performances thus far, the former Chelsea boss appears to have bought well with Gollini, Elphick and Tshibola all impressing.

However, given the magnitude of the task that he faces, it’s merely just the start of a rebuild that will likely need time and patience to deliver results.

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