Report: Aston Villa outcast Aleksandar Tonev linked with shock move to Roma

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After spending last season on loan at Celtic, the Bulgaria winger is reported to be interesting the Serie A runners-up.

Despite failing to make his mark on British shores, Bulgarian news outlet 7Sport.net have reported that Aston Villa winger Aleksandar Tonev is interesting Italian giants Roma.

Tonev, 25, joined Villa from Polish club Lech Poznan in June 2013 for around £2.5 million and went on to make eight starts and 12 substitute appearances across all competitions during his first campaign in the Midlands.

The Bulgaria international failed to record a goal or assist, however, while his disappointing performances soon saw him fall out of favour with former manager Paul Lambert before joining Celtic in August on a season-long loan with a view to a permanent deal.

He did not fare much better north of the border, though, and featured just 13 times for the Scottish champions, while also becoming embroiled in a race row which led to a seven-match ban.

Since returning to Villa after the Hoops decided against making his spell permanent, the 17-times capped midfielder is now expected to be shipped out again this summer as new boss Tim Sherwood looks to revamp his squad in his first transfer window in charge.

 2013-14 Premier League PositionTeamGoalsAssistsTotal Key PassesPassing AccuracyTotal CrossesCrossing AccuracyTotal DribblesDribble AccuracyAppearancesMins Played
Aleksandar Tonev MF Aston Villa 0 0 2 76% 31 6% 18 40% 17 596

The former CSKA Sofia prospect was linked with a return to his homeland last week, with Ludogorets Razgrad named as potential suitors [h/t Sport Line], but now the likes of 7sport.net are claiming that Roma could be his next destination.

According to the report, manager Rudi Garcia is a long-time admirer of Tonev since before he joined Villa and sees him as an ideal reclamation project to help boost the club’s attack following last season’s second-place finish.

Considering his form over the past two seasons, those claims will come as a big surprise to the claret and blue faithful but, at the same time, it is worth nothing that Tonev was a well-regarded prospect around Europe before his switch to England.

A reported target for Bundesliga outfit Werder Bremen both in the summer of 2013 and back in December [h/t The Scotsman], a move back across the Channel could be just what is needed to help reignite his once-flourishing career.

That said, after failing to impress in a relegation-threatened Villa side and the Scottish Premiership, seeing him make a mooted jump to a Champions League club in Roma would be no less bizarre to those who have watched him in action of late.

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