Aston Villa to sell star defender amid financial woes, eye James or Dumfries

Aston Villa v Olympiacos FC: Semi-final First Leg - UEFA Europa Conference League 2023/24
Aston Villa v Olympiacos FC: Semi-final First Leg - UEFA Europa Conference League 2023/24 / Naomi Baker/GettyImages

Aston Villa, fresh off a remarkable fourth-place finish in the Premier League and securing UEFA Champions League qualification, are reportedly willing to part ways with Polish international right-back Matty Cash this summer.

The Midlands club, grappling with financial pressures and the need to comply with Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations, are said to be open to selling the 26-year-old for a fee in the region of £17 million according to Caught Offside (via Calciomercato).

Cash, who joined Aston Villa from Nottingham Forest in 2020 for £16 million, has been a consistent performer for the Villans, making 142 appearances across all competitions.

His displays have earned him high praise from manager Unai Emery, who labeled his performances on the wing as "perfect." Cash's form also earned him 15 caps for the Polish national team.

However, Aston Villa's financial situation has forced their hand, with the club reporting pre-tax losses of just under £120 million for the 2022/23 season. To avoid potential sanctions, player sales have become a necessity, and the club may be forced to sell players before the end of June to balance their books.

Italian giants AC Milan have been tracking Cash for several years, dating back to his time at Nottingham Forest in the Championship. The Rossoneri are considering Cash alongside other targets such as Tottenham Hotspur's Emerson Royal and Lille's Tiago Santos.

While talks between the two clubs are not at an advanced stage, AC Milan are not overly concerned about Aston Villa's asking price of £17 million, which is a step down from the previously reported £25.5 million.

If Cash were to leave Villa Park, the club have identified Inter Milan's Denzel Dumfries as a potential replacement. The Dutch international's contract runs until 2025, and there has been no progress on a renewal.

Aston Villa have already reached out to Dumfries' agent to discuss the conditions needed to secure his signature, with their qualification for the Champions League potentially providing a financial boost to meet his salary demands.

However, Dumfries is reportedly not keen on leaving Inter Milan and would only consider a move to a top club. If Inter were to sell the 28-year-old, they would be looking to collect a fee similar to what Aston Villa are asking for Cash.

Another potential replacement for Cash could be Chelsea's Reece James, as Aston Villa look to strengthen their squad ahead of their Champions League campaign.

Cash, who is under contract with Aston Villa until 2027 and earns £80,000 per week, made 46 appearances across the 2023/24 campaign, scoring five goals and providing three assists.

His potential departure could provide the Villans with the necessary funds to reinforce their squad as they prepare for the challenges of competing at the highest level next season.

The Midlands club will need to act swiftly to find a suitable replacement should Cash depart, with Denzel Dumfries and Reece James emerging as prime targets. The potential sale of Cash could be a crucial step in Aston Villa's efforts to balance their books and strengthen their squad for the upcoming season.