Aston Villa to stay in UK for pre-season

Villa will remain in the UK for the duration of pre-season after deciding against a warm weather training camp.

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith
Aston Villa manager Dean Smith

A short trip to Europe was being considered as part of the club’s preparations for the new Premier League campaign.

But uncertainty caused by the pandemic has seen those plans shelved with Dean Smith’s squad set to spend the bulk of their time at Bodymoor Heath.

Villa drew up several schedules which could be altered at short notice depending on what restrictions might be in place.

Preparations for the season will step up a gear next when more players, including new record signing Emi Buendia, report back after the summer.

Playmaker Buendia, who joined last month from Norwich for an initial £33million, received his first Argentina call-up at the end of last season but was not included in their final squad for the Copa America.

Ashley Young, the club’s other signing of the window so far, was back in training last week with the other non-international players in Smith’s squad.

Villa play their first pre-season friendly away at Walsall on Wednesday, July 21. Their schedule also now includes a trip to Bristol City on Saturday, July 31 (kick-off 1pm).

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