Aston Villa

Aston Villa

Premier League • England

Aston Villa set to discuss summer sale of high-profile defender; decision made over loanee’s future

Lucas Digne and Nicolo Zaniolo

Lucas Digne and Nicolo Zaniolo are fighting for their Aston Villa futures

A number of Aston Villa players are fighting for their futures in the second half of the season and one is Lucas Digne, according to a report.

Aston Villa offloaded Bertrand Traore on deadline day on a free transfer to Villarreal, as well as sending out a number of younger players on loan, but their work of trimming down their squad is not complete.

For example, there was talk of Calum Chambers going elsewhere, but he is now going to have to wait for his departure from their defence. His prospects of reviving his Aston Villa career look bleak, though.

Another player in similar territory whose future could come into question, according to The Athletic, is Lucas Digne.

That is despite the Frenchman starting more than three quarters of their Premier League matches so far this season and still being under contract for another two-and-a-half years.

So why would Aston Villa be thinking of letting Digne go?

Well, according to the report, his high wages do not work to his favour. Digne is one of the players Aston Villa pay the most money to: £120,000 per week.

As their squad evolution continues, Digne’s departure would free up some space on the books.

It was something Aston Villa were already contemplating in the summer, before they stuck with Digne and he reclaimed his role as a regular starter.

Perhaps since he is 30 years old, Aston Villa are keeping in mind that Digne will not be their long-term solution at left-back anymore.

Who could replace him remains to be seen, as does where he could go next. Of course, there is still a chance that he stays at Villa Park too.

But for the rest of the season, Digne might be playing with his future in mind.

He recently passed the second anniversary of his arrival at Aston Villa after they bought him from Everton in January 2022.

Previously, he has played for Lille, Paris Saint-Germain, Roma and Barcelona in Europe.

The other left-back in Aston Villa’s squad is Alex Moreno, but he is a month older than Digne.

Another Aston Villa exit predicted for summer

There is no address of Moreno’s future in The Athletic‘s update, but another player tipped for an exit is Nicolo Zaniolo.

The attacking midfielder – also formerly of Roma, just not at the same time as Digne – is currently on loan at Aston Villa from Galatasaray.

So far, Zaniolo has made 24 appearances for the Villans, scoring twice. However, the report summarises he is likely to be returned to sender at the end of his loan.

The Italy international has only scored once in the Premier League and does not appear to be convincing Aston Villa to keep him, despite there being purchase clauses in his contract.

Zaniolo remains committed to Galatasaray until 2027, but will be hoping for some more joy in an Aston Villa shirt before he goes back to Turkey.

The next match on the agenda for Unai Emery’s side is against Sheffield United at Bramall Lane on Saturday evening.

Aston Villa go into the game fifth in the Premier League table but level on points with fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur.

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