Why haven’t we signed Mings? or Tuanzebe? Or Phillips?

There’s been loads of clamour for us to sign Tyrone Mings and quite rightly so.
He proved a confident, play-out type of defender that we know Dean Smith wants.
He was also vocal on the pitch, which is always important.

While I think at times he seems so relaxed he can be sloppy, which might find him caught out at Premier league level, he’ll improve.
There’s more to it for me though, in that he inspires confidence, with a seemingly never ending smile on his face and most importantly of all, the rapport he has developed with the fans, with his singing with us and even wearing the kit on his arrival home after the play-off victory.
It’s that last part that makes him a player we must sign.

So why haven’t we, yet?

It’s quite simple, really and it’s the fact that we have a matching clause, where if we match any incoming bid, we get him, simple. Well, depending on wages, of course.
And as far as I know, no-one else has bid for him yet.

We have to be clinical and wonder why if he’s that good, there’s been no other offers as yet?

We could go straight in and offer £15 million or so and get it done, but that would be really poor business.
Why do it, when there may be no other offers and we could buy him at the minimal fee that’s probably been set in the agreement (I’ll guess around £8 million)?

Not that it matters.
I’m totally convinced he wants to come to us and we’ll easily match any last minute offer that might come in.
I really wouldn’t expect Mings in before deadline day and suspect he half knows he’s coming to us, whatever happens.
We’re not just buying him for his ability.
We also want him for what he’s added to the positive feeling that we’re currently experiencing.

It’s being suggested that Axel Tuanzebe is going to sign a long term contract for Man Utd and I find it questionable, myself.
Why would he, if, as much as OGS promises to have a look at him and even hints he’ll play him, there’s nothing concrete behind it?
Man U are never going to guarantee that a young lad plays. They can’t afford too.
And I’d rate OGS as one of the favourites for the sack anyway, so his opinion possibly doesn’t count for much.
It’s probably more about trying to get the best price on Man U’s part, combined with the best wages on his agent’s part.
It all depends on Axel himself. He knows he’ll get a start for us, week in, week out.

If he doesn’t come to us, so be it. We move on and no doubt have other targets.

Phillips is a different kettle of fish and it reminds me of the Grealish situation last year.
We apparently seriously want him and it makes sense, as he’s a player I reckon could easily make the step up to the Prem. It’s an area we’re seriously light on too.
Yet, he admirably wants to stay at Leeds. You can’t fault any player for loyalty.
It would seem Leeds are going to offer him a better contract, but I very much doubt they could match the money that we could offer him and it’s the money that talks.
As much as it grates, I really hope he ignores his agent, signs that contract and stays at Leeds for another year, just as Jack did with us.
Then, if he and the team continue to do well, Leeds benefit from a higher sale price, the player gets a better offer and everyone’s a winner.

The difference from the Grealish situation though, is that Phillips is being offered the Premier league now, if we really are in for him.
Which makes it a little tricky.
A guaranteed step up in leagues has to be a tempter.

I think he’ll stay.

Whatever, I’m sure things are going on in the background and while it’s frustrating that not much is happening, things will happen.
I’m pretty sanguine about it all.


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  1. Avatar
    Pat 57 July 11, 2019 at 11:55 am .

    BBC reports that Konsa has signed –


    Seems like the Sun was actually right for once.

    Welcome to the Villa Ezri.

  2. Avatar
    Pat 57 July 11, 2019 at 12:04 pm .

    Useful round up by the BBC –

    ‘Since promotion, Villa have signed Mings for £20m, defender Kortney Hause from Wolves, winger Anwar El Ghazi from Lille, left-back Matt Targett from Southampton, forward Wesley from Club Brugge and midfielder Jota from Birmingham.’ And now Konsa. So seven players bought in all.

    Good going but I’d still like Phillips though…

    1. Avatar
      Big Fat Ron July 11, 2019 at 12:36 pm .

      The season hinges on getting a proven goalscorer…

      1. Avatar
        DSVilla July 11, 2019 at 2:42 pm .

        I would really like Maupay. I suspect that may happen but we are biding our time. I don’t get the impression that Smith rates Kodjia that highly. Another goalscorer is a must though. I suspect that we could find an alternative to Phillips for similar money to what we are offering at the moment, so maybe best do that and put the spare cash into the goalscoring position.

        Exciting times

  3. Avatar
    Bill Pearson July 11, 2019 at 2:11 pm .

    Bjorn Engels
    Aston Villa are in ‘advanced negotiations’ to sign Belgian defender Björn Engels from Stade de Reims, reports in France are claiming.

    The 24-year-old centre-back only joined Reims permanently from Greek side Olympiakos earlier this year but reports have now emerged to suggest he could be on his way to Villa Park.

    Engels’ contract with Reims doesn’t expire until 2023 but L’Equipe – via Get French Football News – reckon the Ligue 1 side are ready to cash in.

    Birmingham Live.

    1. Avatar
      Big Fat Ron July 11, 2019 at 5:32 pm .

      Could Engels play the holding role? Have we given up on Phillips? Or could he be competition and cover for Phillips if he comes in? I can’t see up putting 30 million on the table, and Leeds don’t need to sell, neither does the player want to leave. I think the sensible money is on Phillips staying put for season 2019/20.

  4. Avatar
    Pat 57 July 11, 2019 at 3:18 pm .

    Interesting article in the Guardian about why we’re not ‘doing a Fulham’ –


  5. Avatar
    Originallondonlion July 11, 2019 at 11:47 pm .

    Get there early for Villa’s first game back in the EPL, and as you take your seat in the £58M stadium have a look around, and consider when the team walk out the value of Villa Park and contents will have tripled.

    I wonder if you thought you would see the day when that happened.

  6. Avatar
    Pat 57 July 12, 2019 at 8:24 am .

    The Telegraph have reported that “Villa have agreed a £15m deal with City and Douglas Luiz is set to fly out to USA to join up with the rest of his new squad.

    Douglas has yet to make a first team appearance at The Etihad and has spent the last two seasons on-loan at Spanish club Girona. He is highly thought of by Pep Guardiola though, who was left frustrated when the FA declined to grant him a work permit to play on these shores.

    Villa are understood to be confident of avoiding any such issues and are hoping to complete his signing in the next few days. Sources suggest the deal is approximately around the £15m mark. City are also understood to have inserted a buy-back clause.”

    I saw him play for Girona a few times last season and he looked a decent player. As he’s a defensive mid-fielder I wonder if that means Phillips is staying at Leeds?

    1. Avatar
      Hitchens60 July 12, 2019 at 9:22 am .

      Possibly better value at £15m and City must rate him if they’ve inserted a buy back clause. I assume their problem with a work permit is the number of overseas players already registered to the club rather that the player himself not qualifying. Still we’ve been here before and failed in getting a work permit.

      How many more players are we going to buy?

      1. Avatar
        Holte66 July 12, 2019 at 1:44 pm .

        I hope there isn’t a buy out clause for Citeh. Basically if he does really well we lose him!! Where is the sense in that? Are we still a breeder club for the big six? I had hoped with our wealthy owners, now we are back in the premier league that we would no longer have these type of deals. Spend an extra 10m on Phillips and have a long term plan without contract concerns.

        1. Avatar
          Tom July 12, 2019 at 2:08 pm .

          Realistically though, how good do you have to be to make it as a midfield player in Citeh?

        2. Avatar
          Hitchens60 July 12, 2019 at 2:44 pm .

          Holte, I have no problem, in principle, with a but back clause as long as it allows us to sell back at a fair market value – after all Citeh are only likely to activate it if Luiz is good enough to play in their midfield (which is Tom’s point). That’s a much better scenario than a loan deal vis the Mings situation.

          1. Avatar
            Hitchens60 July 12, 2019 at 2:45 pm .

            *buy back -duh

  7. Avatar
    Holte66 July 12, 2019 at 3:27 pm .

    So if for example we insert a £30m buy back clause which is peanuts to Citeh, and he has an impact like McGinn did last season then we are powerless to hold onto him? I understand that contracts aren’t worth the paper they are written on, but it will always feel like he is Citehs player in waiting. Sorry, but for me I wouldn’t accept deals like that. I get the fact that we stand to make a profit if he does well, but we would have to spend the sale money to buy an equivalent player.

    1. Avatar
      Pat 57 July 12, 2019 at 3:56 pm .

      Holte, on the bright side a buy-back clause might be the only way that we can prise him away from City but, if he’s playing well and the team’s playing well, there’s a good chance that he might not want to go back to City anyway where he might be a bench-warmer at best.

      Let’s hope that Douglas, as well as the rest of this fairly young squad, really buy into the Villa project and share the aspirations that our manager and owners clearly have for the club.

    2. Avatar
      Texas Villan July 12, 2019 at 4:08 pm .

      I don’t see it like that to be honest. At the end of the day, if a team like Man City wants a player, they usually have the resources to force that kind of deal (as we saw with Barry). I think all a buy back clause does is guarantee they’re letting go of a player that they’re not ready to completely let go of, and guarantees they get him back for not the going market rate. It’s not the best situation for us, but as Pat says, it does get the player through the door. And it’s not a glorified loan, since a loan has no resale return in the least. I highly doubt we’d follow this route unless there IS a substantial profit in the making for Villa, or then it really is a loan.

      1. Avatar
        Pat 57 July 12, 2019 at 4:34 pm .

        A piece on why Villa should get a work permit for Douglas while City could not –


        Unless Douglas gets into the Brazilian team this may hold true even if City want to buy him back. Just hoping that Pitarch and Purslow have done their due diligence on this one if there really is a buy-back clause..

  8. Avatar
    Sidforever July 12, 2019 at 4:55 pm .

    I am so impressed with the transfer policy of Villa. No flash players. Players with ambition and room for improvement. This feels like a well thought out strategy, rather than the splurge we undertook the season we were relegated.

    It appears City rated Luiz. That speaks volumes. I can’t wait to see who else joins. Well done to the Villa owners, Purslow, Smith etc. These new players all have age on their side. This could be the foundation of a team that could play together for years. It could mean that in future years we buy 1 / 2 players but of higher value. Who knows?

    In the meantime, to all at Villa Park, please keep doing what you are doing.

  9. Avatar
    benno July 12, 2019 at 5:42 pm .

    we are just killing this transfer window! Douglas Luiz now too!

    Just think back to some of the players we were signing a couple of years ago! How times have changed in such a short time.

    Crazy as it sounds, in some ways going down and getting the chance to completely rebuild was the best thing for this club. At the end of the Lerner regime, we were club that had lost its identity and were going nowhere fast.

    I for one, cant wait for the season to start and prove all these idiots wrong about doing a Fulham!

    1. Avatar
      Hitchens60 July 12, 2019 at 5:56 pm .

      Fulham signed 5 players on transfer deadline day which, remember, last year was after a month of the season having passed (unlike this). That smacks of panic buying with no clear strategy whereas Villa’s management team seem to have a clear understanding of what is required – even if it’s not all first choice.

      Accepting that Mings / Wesley are exceptions then we are clearly unwilling to pay over the odds e.g. Phillips / Webster and move to the next target. I suspect Luiz is instead of Phillips and therefore offers a better value solution at this point.


      1. Avatar
        DSVilla July 12, 2019 at 8:48 pm .

        Said the same yesterday re Phillips. It looks like we have got a player in for less than half the price to cover the DM position. That’s maybe £15M to go somewhere else. Good business by the club.

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