Aston Villa boss Roberto Di Matteo will oversee a cull this week with four players set to leave the club ahead of the new campaign.
The Italian tactician moved quickly this summer to bring in Pierluigi Gollini, Tommy Elphick and Aaron Tshibola to rebuild the spine of his team.
A striker will arguably be top of his list next, but that will come after he has trimmed down his squad with Villa boasting around 30 first-team players.
History would suggest that a close-knit group of fewer players are required to be successful in the Championship, and so the process of getting individuals out the door continues this week.
As confirmed on the club’s official Twitter account, goalkeeper Brad Guzan has joined Middlesborough, while speculation suggests that three others could be on their way out sooner rather than later too.
— Aston Villa FC (@AVFCOfficial) July 29, 2016
According to The Birmingham Mail, Idrissa Gueye has completed a medical and is expected to join Everton on Friday, with the Premier League outfit exercising the £7.1m release clause in his contract.
If true, that will certainly be a blow for Di Matteo, as ‘Gana’ would have been one of the players he wished to keep at the club based on what he could potentially offer the team moving forward.
Elsewhere, The Mail adds that Jordan Ayew is the subject of interest from West Ham United, while Jordan Veretout is gaining interest from Real Betis.
It’s a mixed bag in that sense, as Ayew would also be a useful player to have in the Championship, but ultimately Villa are looking to rebuild and will have to start fresh without the players that failed to produce last season.
With their season fast approaching, Di Matteo will be under pressure to get the rest of his business done as quickly as possible, but also ensuring that he brings in genuine quality that will benefit the squad.