Steve Bruce expects further departures with Aston Villa still to hit FFP target

Villa boss Steve Bruce expects further departures before next week’s transfer deadline to ensure the club meets its Financial Fair Play requirements.

Tommy Elphick is one of several players who could leave before next week's transfer deadline. Pic: AMA.
Tommy Elphick is one of several players who could leave before next week's transfer deadline. Pic: AMA.

A loan swoop for West Ham winger Robert Snodgrass is expected to be the final signing sanctioned by owner Tony Xia, after a summer in which Villa have sought to balance the books.

Midfielder Gary Gardner and striker Ross McCormack are the most likely players to leave. Tommy Elphick could also depart, though Villa are currently refusing to lower their asking price for the defender.

Quizzed on the club’s current position with relation to FFP, Bruce replied: “We still haven’t hit the target so I would still envisage there has to be one or two who still move on.

“I think that in any case for the sake of the squad and the sake of them, it is the right thing.

“Gary Gardner, for example, Ross McCormack, people like that. There has been a lot of talk about Tommy (Elphick).

"Then there are the ones you don’t want to leave, where you are hoping someone doesn’t come in.”

Villa are closing in on a season-long loan deal for Snodgrass, who has been deemed surplus to requirements by the Hammers.

The 29-year-old would become the club’s seventh signing – and the third loan arrival – of a window in which Bruce has seen his spending restricted.

Villa pulled off a coup with the capture of John Terry but the five-time Premier League winner was one of two free transfer signings, the other being Chris Samba.

The combined fees for midfielder Glenn Whelan and winger Ahmed Elmohamady meanwhile totalled around £2.5million, a figure dwarfed by the money received by selling Jordan Amavi, Jordan Veretout, Carlos Sanchez, Nathan Baker and Leandro Bacuna.

“In that respect it has been a difficult summer. I have not been able to spend millions,” said Bruce.

“Of what we have done, I think we have been quite shrewd. I am pleased of what we have got moving into the season.”

Elphick is wanted by Blues and while Bruce has no qualms about selling the 29-year-old to a rival, Villa will not budge on their asking price for a player who joined in a £3million deal from Bournemouth 12 months ago.

“I have got no problem if Tommy doesn’t go out. I know he wants to play,” said Bruce.

“He reminded everyone what a good player he is the other night against Wigan in the Carabao Cup.

“It has not gone so well for him here as he would have liked. But if nothing happens before the window closes then I will be delighted to still have someone like Tommy Elphick around.

“He has great leadership skills, is a very good pro and an excellent lad. But if people don’t hit the number I am delighted to keep him here.”

Meanwhile, young defender Kevin Toner has left Villa on-loan, joining Stevenage in a season-long deal.

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