Tony Xia: Aston Villa won't sell Jordan Veretout on the cheap
Villa owner Tony Xia has hit out at St Etienne, accusing the French club of trying to take advantage of Villa’s eagerness to offload want-away midfielder Jordan Veretout.
Veretout spent last season on loan St Etienne and a £5million deal had been in place for the 24-year-old.
However, that appeared to have foundered when it emerged Veretout was instead heading towards Italian Serie A side Fiorentina.
That angered St Etienne sporting director Dominique Rocheteau, who blasted: “He did not respect his word.
“It was even more than his word, since he had given us his agreement.
“His arrival had all been organised, but then told us he wanted to go to Fiorentina. His choice is a sporting one. Now we’ve discovered that we weren’t his first choice.”
However, Villa supremo Xia tweeted: “Etienne refused to meet (the) bottom line we set up and hope we were ‘cheap market’. Before then others offered higher. Its club’s easy decision not his.#change”
Meanwhile, Villa have been forced to scrap their friendly fixture with Vitesse Arnhem in Germany next week as it falls foul of recently-introduced German football regulations which means an English and Dutch side cannot play a game on German soil.
Villa will now instead face German Bundesliga 2 side Arminia Bielefeld at FC Gütersloh’s Heidewaldstadion on Tuesday.