Jesus Garcia Pitarch will leave his role as sporting director at Aston Villa.
The Spanish talent-spotter was named sporting director back in October 2018, shortly before Dean Smith was appointed head coach, following a behind-the-scenes shake-up at Villa Park.
Pitarch – also known as ‘Suso’ – was tasked with overseeing the club’s recruitment strategy last summer as Villa spent £140million on 12 new players following promotion to the Premier League.
Despite some successes, many of those players have failed to live up to expectations and Villa were almost relegated as a result.
With survival secured on the final day at West Ham, owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens, along with chief executive Christian Purslow and Smith, will now set about rebuilding ahead of next season.
Smith wants Villa to be ‘smart’ on transfers
“I’ll sit down in the next few days with the CEO and owners. We need to be smart in the market now.
“I said it after the game yesterday, people had questioned the amount we’d spent (£130 million) but we had such a big turnaround, 13 players (including Frederic Guilbert), and it worked out something like £9.5 million a player and that’s not a lot of money in the Premier League.
“I’m really proud of the players and how they’ve adapted to the Premier League eventually. We’ve got to where we wanted to be but now we really have to be smart in the market.”
What United have told Grealish
Aston Villa’s Premier League future has been secured which means Jack Grealish’s future will now take centre stage.
The 24-year-old playmaker played a key role in Villa’s final day draw with West Ham United which clinched another year in the top flight, with his goal giving his team the lead.
Grealish has been Villa’s leading man throughout the campaign with eight goals and six assists in 36 Premier League starts.
Manchester United have been heavily linked with Grealish throughout the last six months and, now that the season has ended, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is reportedly ready to make his move.
According to The Independent, Solskjaer is ready to press ahead with a deal to sign Grealish even if United land top transfer target Jadon Sancho.
United’s return to the Champions League means Solskjaer’s transfer plans will be more ambitious than if the Red Devils had missed out on a seat at European football’s top table.
However, the report claims United have already made it clear to Grealish that he won’t always start games if he decides to make a move to Old Trafford.
Solskjaer has plenty of options in midfield with Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic, Fred and Scott McTominay, while they also have lots of stars capable of operating on the left flank.
It’s also suggested that Villa’s survival is likely to see Grealish’s price tag soar above £50million which could put off his suitors.
Sarkic joins Wolves
Wolverhampton Wanderers have completed the signing of goalkeeper Matija Sarkic.
The 23-year-old Montenegro international left local rivals Aston Villa at the end of his contract and moves to Molineux on a free transfer.
Sarkic has penned a three-year deal with Wolves and becomes the club’s first signing of the summer window.
Sarkic has spent five years on Villa’s books and enjoyed a successful loan spell with Scottish club Livingston last season.