Aston Villa transfer fixer Jesus Garcia Pitarch facing the axe amid concerns over club’s recruitment record
- Aston Villa sporting director Suso is under pressure due to recruitment concern
- The club’s owners are considering a change in leadership as part of future plans
- Sportsmail understands Suso is fighting for his job over the rest of the season
- Suso had upset Villa officials after claiming relegation should be scrapped
Aston Villa sporting director Suso is under increasing pressure amid serious misgivings about the club’s recruitment record.
The club’s owners are contemplating a change in leadership as they plan for the future, particularly if they are relegated back into the Championship, amid growing tensions behind the scenes at Villa Park.
Manager Dean Smith’s future is in doubt, though it is understood the club will not decide the 49-year-old’s future until the end of the season. Unsettled Burnley boss Sean Dyche is known to have admirers in the Villa boardroom and would be attracted to a Midlands move under the right circumstances.
Aston Villa sporting director Suso is under pressure amid concerns over the club’s recruitment
Manager Dean Smith’s future is also in doubt and will be decided at the end of the season
However, Sportsmail understands sporting director Jesus Garcia Pitarch, also known as Suso, is fighting to keep his job heading into the final weeks of the season, with sources claiming it is ‘inevitable’ the Spaniard departs.
There are major concerns from within Villa Park about some of the signings Suso, who joined the club in October 2018, has helped engineer since the club returned to the Premier League at the end of last season.
Villa spent close to £150million on new signings last summer, with Suso focusing significantly on the foreign market.
Suso (pictured with Smith) is fighting to keep his job heading into the final weeks of the season
It is understood Trezeguet, Wesley, Mbwana Samatta, Bjorn Engels, Frederic Guilbert and Marvellous Nakamba – who cost a combined total of close to £60million in transfer fees – were deals orchestrated by Suso.
The intention was to sign the relatively cheaper players from abroad with a view to eventually selling them on for a profit.
But the unsuccessful nature of a host of those signings means those plans are in turmoil.
There is a feeling that Suso’s decision to focus on foreign buys rather than tapping into the UK market for players who have grasp on the demands of English football have cost the club on the pitch.
Tyrone Mings is understood to have been recommended by boss Smith – as well as Ezri Konsa
Tyrone Mings, who was already at the club following a loan spell at the end of last season, and Ezri Konsa have arguably been two of Villa’s most value-for-money signings. It is understood both were on Smith’s recommendation.
Smith was also keen on Leeds’ Kalvin Phillips and Brentford pair Said Benrahma and Neal Maupay, who joined Brighton, but the club looked elsewhere, much to the Villa boss’ frustration.
Indeed, if Suso does leave Villa the club are expected to target a homegrown sporting director to replace him.
Jack Grealish and Mings are Villa’s best performers in a damning indictment of recruitment
With the prospect of an instant return to the Championship growing by the week following an awful run of just one win in 11 Premier League games, Villa are facing the prospect of being overloaded with players who have no experience of playing in England’s second tier.
Despite their significant spending, Villa’s most consistent performers this season have been Jack Grealish and Mings, who were both at the club last season, another damning indictment on the club’s recruitment.
Suso upset club officials earlier this year following an interview in his homeland in which he suggest that there was a consensus among top-flight teams that relegation should be scrapped due to the coronavirus pandemic, prompting the Villa to take the unusual step of distancing themselves from their sporting director’s remarks.