Aston Villa

Aston Villa

Premier League • England

Unai Emery takes brutal decision as summer Aston Villa exit beckons for club’s top earner

Douglas Luiz, Philippe Coutinho, Lucas Digne, Aston Villa, May 2022

A report claims Aston Villa will listen to offers for defender Lucas Digne after he fell down the pecking order under Unai Emery.

Digne, 29, has been at Villa Park for 18 months after making the switch to the West Midlands in January 2022. The France international was in his fourth season at Everton when he told Toffees manager Rafael Benitez that he no longer wanted to play for the club. The Villans paid £25m for the left-back who made 16 Premier League appearances in the second half of 2021-2022.

He began last season as first-choice left-back. But the dismissal of Steven Gerrard and arrival of Emery seemed to signal the death knell for his Villa career.

Alex Moreno arrived last January from Real Betis and was installed on the left side of defence when Digne was injured.

The Spaniard went on to enjoy 19 top-flight outings as Villa shot up the league to finish seventh.

It was seen as an inspired piece of business as the Villa Park outfit enjoyed a resurgence.

READ MORE: Aston Villa transfers: Unai Emery suffers early knockback in twin winger assault but new bid expected for Man Utd, Newcastle, Arsenal target

They will play in the Europa Conference League next term but it may be that Digne is not included.

A report by Football Insider states that Villa are now open to offers and want to move him on before the transfer window closes in six weeks time.

Digne exit suits all parties

It seems unlikely that Digne would be able to oust Moreno from the full-back berth.

Emery selected the former Rayo Vallecano man even when Digne had returned to fitness following shoulder trouble.

And it is said that the Frenchman is unwilling to sit on the bench and play second fiddle to his team-mate.

He is reportedly Villa’s highest earner on 1£60,000 per week. And so moving on the man with 46 France caps will also help the club trim their wage bill.

He is under contract at Aston Villa until the summer of 2026 and so the club’s hierarchy will hope to recoup a decent fee.

Digne has made 47 appearances in total for the men in claret and blue.

He can boast a decent CV which includes stints at European powerhouses Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona.

However, it seems as though he is no longer wanted at Villa Park.

The man from Meaux has also lost his place in the France squad since joining Villa.

And it may be that a move elsewhere can reignite his hopes of adding further caps to his collection.

READ MORE: Arsenal, Man Utd ridiculed with surprise Prem boss named ‘better than Arteta and Ten Hag’ in huge praise