Ex-Aston Villa striker Tony Cascarino defends club over Fabian Delph's reported release clause

The 25-year-old midfielder could reportedly leave Villa for just £10 million due to a buy-out clause in his deal.

Former Aston Villa striker Tony Cascarino has defended the club following reports that a buy-out clause in captain Fabian Delph’s contract could see him leave for only £10 million.

Cascarino was speaking to Sky Sports after claims emerged that the new deal Delph signed in January contains a £10 million release clause which suitors Manchester City are preparing to exploit [h/t Mirror].

The England midfielder, 25, shocked the claret and blue faithful when he re-signed with the Villa until 2019, having been linked with the likes of Everton, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur ahead of becoming a free agent this summer [h/t Telegraph].

He declared at the time that he could not bring himself to walk out for nothing after the club stuck with him through various injuries, but it now looks as though management had to compromise somewhat to get him tied down to fresh terms.

However, Cascarino stresses that the Midlands outfit were put in a difficult situation and had little choice but to insert the low release clause given the threat of their new skipper leaving on a bosman.

“The circumstances why Delph has a contract that has a release clause is he was nearly at the end of his previous contract,” he said. “How can it be £10million? We’re at a stage where literally players have a blank sheet of paper and clubs say fill in the blanks and tell us what you want.

“Players have got so much power in the modern game. Villa tried to broker a deal where they will get something. I feel sorry for the club, it’s the way the modern game is.”

 2014-15 Premier League PositionTeamGoalsAssistsTotal Key PassesPassing AccuracyTotal Tackles GAMEInterceptions GAMETotal Dribbles GAMETouches GAMEAppearancesMins Played
Fabian Delph MF Aston Villa 0 3 36 85% 2.07 1.36 2.64 78.32 28 2,434

A release clause could also lead to the departure of another of Villa’s star men before next season, with Christian Benteke believed to be available for a more substantial £32.5 million.

After recovering from the aftereffects of a ruptured Achilles, the Belgian striker finished last term with 12 goals in his final 13 appearances to generate ongoing speculation regarding his future.

The likes of Liverpool and Manchester United are now claimed to be after the powerful front man, who manager Tim Sherwood revealed ahead of last month’s FA Cup final has a “quite substantial” release clause written into the contract he penned back in 2013 [h/t Sky Sports].

Villa had been planning to offer him a new £70,000-per-week deal which would remove the clause or at least raise it but, according to the Telegraph, Benteke has since informed the club that he has no plans to re-sign.

The report adds that frontrunners Liverpool are unwilling to meet the £32.5 million fee at present but Cascarino still believes that the former Genk forward will be heading elsewhere in the near future.

“Christian at his very best is unplayable,” he added to Sky Sports. “His release clause is obviously a lot higher and suits Villa a lot more.

“I’m not sure if Christian wants to stay. I don’t think clubs should keeper players if their heart is not in it.”

Losing either Delph or Benteke would no doubt be a huge blow to Villa given how crucial both were in helping save Sherwood’s side from the drop last season but, with Euro 2016 coming up next summer, the pair have an obvious incentive to stick around.

While regular football is guaranteed in the Midlands, a move to a club higher up the Premier League table could well see them lose first-team minutes and their international places in the process.

There are other factors to consider, of course, but, with the future at Villa Park looking considerably brighter since Sherwood’s arrival, the grass may not be greener on the other side.

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