Dean Smith describes ‘quality’ transfer plan as Aston Villa flop leaves with permanent deal

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Rashica last

Werder Bremen have given Milot Rashica a new update amid the interest in the Aston Villa winger.

Rashica’s future has been the subject of intense speculation this summer with various reports linking him to a move to the Premier League.

The Kosovo international is said to be a target for Villa, who confirmed his third arrival in the transfer window on Wednesday with goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez coming from Arsenal.

Rashica was thought to be in talks with RB Leipzig earlier in the window after impressing in the Bundesliga with eight goals and seven assists in 28 appearances last season, but a deal on the player’s fees was never reached.

Werder’s scouting manager Clemens Fritz confirmed Dean Smith’s interest earlier this week.

“They got in touch, yes I can confirm that,” he told Deichstube. “There is nothing concrete. There are some requests for him. We are in intensive and close communication with its management. ”

Fritz has now given a new update on the 24-year-old in an interview with Weser Kurier in Germany.

A familiar face

Dean Smith is reportedly considering taking a tour for a fullback he knows all too well, Rico Henry.

The Aston Villa head coach has already worked with Henry twice at Walsall and again at Brentford after signing the youngster for £ 1.5million in 2016.

The left-back was part of Smith’s youth squad at the Saddlers before Henry made his first-team debut under Smith in the 2014-15 campaign.

Henry, born in Birmingham, played for Walsall the following year before Smith pulled him out of League 1 to take him to the Championship with Brentford.

The Sun claim that Villa is now evaluating a late decision for Henry knowing that the deadline to transfer from the Premier League to the EFL is extended until October 16.

Villa, however, faces competition from Premier League rivals West Ham, who have watched Henry throughout the summer. The Hammers are currently prioritizing a center-back, having been pushed back in their pursuit of No.1 target James Tarkowski.

Hogan crosses the ditch of the second city

Scott Hogan has completed his return to Birmingham City from Aston Villa.

The 28-year-old forward is back at St Andrew’s with a four-year contract after being on loan for the second half of last season and taking the number nine jersey.

Aitor Karanka has spoken on several occasions of his desire to add to his options up front, with Lukas Jutkiewicz having been the only senior striker on his side.

Hogan has been on the club’s shortlist throughout the transfer window and becomes the eighth signing of the summer.

The Republic of Ireland international has had an electric start on loan, scoring seven times in his first eight league appearances.

He struggled during the reboot after the lockdown, but has publicly spoken of his desire to return to the Blues.

Smith talks about athletic directors

Dean Smith believes last season’s transfer chief – Jesus Garcia Pitarch – did a credible job following Aston Villa’s well-documented £ 130million summer spending last year.

The Spaniard, known as Suso, orchestrated every deal and signed 12 players in the summer of 2019 – including Wesley, Trezeguet and Marvelous Nakamba – while adding four more in the January window: Danny Drinkwater, Pepe Reina, Mbwana Ally Samatta and capture Borja Baston.

Pitarch, however, was sacked after Villa won survival at West Ham in July, with general manager Christian Purslow moving quickly to bring in Johan Lange as the club’s new sporting director from Copenhagen.

Speaking about the former Villa sporting director, Smith told The Guardian: “No matter what has been speculated before, I was in full agreement with the players brought in with Suso and I will be with Johan as well.

“I felt for Suso last season because it was such a big turnover and I thought we did a fantastic job doing what we did. You’ll never hear a bad word about Suso from me. I really enjoyed working with him. The club decided to go in a different direction and Johan entered. ”

According to Smith, Villa has gone for a ‘quality over quantity’ mantra in this window after spending £ 69million – including add-ons – on Matty Cash, Ollie Watkins and Emiliano Martinez. Bertrand Traoré is also expected to take summer spending to nearly £ 90million with more deals yet to be made.

More here.

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