New Aston Villa boss Roberto Di Matteo is looking to get rid of the under-performers who consigned the club to relegation from the Premier League.
The Telegraph report that Scott Sinclair is top of that list amid suggestions that Celtic are ready to offer £3m for the winger. The Scottish champions have already had two bids for Sinclair rejected, but the latest offer may be enough to prompt Di Matteo to start his clear out.
Di Matteo has made three new signings so far at Villa Park – Tommy Elphick, Aaron Tshibola, and Pierluigi Gollini. Now, his focus is to trim his squad and wage bill of the players who contributed to Villa’s disastrous relegation to the Championship.
In order to do that, he has identified the senior players he wants to sell. There is interest in Jordan Ayew, Idrissa Gueye, Brad Guzan, Jordan Veretout, and Ashley Westwood.
Meanwhile Micah Richards and Ciaran Clark have £5m release clauses.
Sinclair was another of the regulars in Villa’s relegation season, so Celtic’s continued interest could be in the best interest of all parties.
The 27-year old was prolific for Swansea between 2010 and 2011, helping the club gain promotion to the Premier League. A £6m move to Manchester City was ill-fated though, as Sinclair made only three starts in three years.
Although he was given more regular playing time at Villa Park, he failed to recreate his form from his Swansea days, and will now be forever associated with one of the worst ever Premier League campaigns. A move to Scotland under his former manager at Swansea, Brendan Rodgers, could be the fresh start he needs.
Both Sinclair and Aston Villa will want quick returns to the Premier League, and both need to move on quickly from last season. If Celtic really want the winger, he should grab the opportunity with both hands.