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Aston Villa handed transfer blow ahead of summer window?

Villa handed transfer blow ahead of summer window?
© Reuters
Aston Villa reportedly receive a blow regarding their efforts to bolster their financial position ahead of the summer transfer window.

Aston Villa are reportedly unlikely to generate a fee that they had hoped to recoup for Leander Dendoncker.

During the first half of the season, the Belgium international was used as no more than a backup option by Unai Emery.

A total of six starts and nine substitute outings were made in all competitions during what was a hectic four-and-a-half months for the West Midlands outfit.

However, after a 70-minute outing against Middlesbrough in the FA Cup on January 6, Dendoncker was allowed to go out on loan to Napoli, who possess the option of signing him on a permanent basis.

Such a scenario proved to be an attractive option to Villa at a time when it has become known that they have work to do in order to remain within the Premier League's Profit and Sustainability Rules in the long term.

Leander Dendoncker in action for Napoli.© Reuters

Since then, though, it has become evident that Napoli - who now have a different manager at the helm compared to when Dendoncker arrived in Naples - do not have a long-term plan for him.

The 28-year-old has been provided with just 21 minutes of action across three Serie A fixtures, with his most recent appearance coming on February 28 when the team were already 6-1 ahead at Sassuolo.

Three more domestic matches have since been played without Dendoncker making it onto the pitch, seemingly resulting in decisions being made behind the scenes.

According to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, Napoli already plan on turning down the opportunity to sign the versatile Belgian for €9m.

Napoli coach Francesco Calzona reacts on February 21, 2024© Reuters

Regardless of who is in charge next season, Dendoncker will allegedly not feature in Napoli's plans, allowing him to return to Villa where he is out of favour.

Although it is plausible that the former Wolverhampton Wanderers man could be reintegrated back into Emery's plans, Villa would rather sell and get Dendoncker's wages off their outgoings.

A recent report has already indicated that at least one sale will need to be made soon after the end of the season to help comply with the relevant rules.

Dendoncker still has over two years remaining on his contract, potentially forcing Villa officials to contemplate lowering his asking price in order to find a new destination.

Villa, who were then managed by Steven Gerrard, paid a reported £13m to sign Dendoncker in September 2022, but he has since made just eight starts in the Premier League.

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Napoli's Piotr Zielinski pictured in October 2023
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