Former Aston Villa goalkeeper David James told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast Show for talkSPORT that he feels it’s always going to be difficult for the club to keep their key players, while they are on certain structured contracts.
James was speaking in relation to the deal, which saw midfielder Fabian Delph link up with Manchester City for a fee in the region of £8 million, as reported by the Manchester Evening News, which seems low compared to Delph’s quality as a player.
“When you’ve got buy-out clauses in contracts, then it’s difficult for the club to hold onto them – For Tim especially, when he was looking at who he was going to bring in this season, two weeks ago they were building around Delph and Benteke and now it’s changed drastically,” he told talkSPORT.
Double blow for Aston Villa
News of Delph’s exit was a double blow for Aston Villa because not only did they lose a player after he suggested he would stay at the club, they lost him for a fee which arguably should have been much higher.
However, the £8 million clause was part of the recent new deal Delph signed with Aston Villa, which created an opportunity which Manchester City couldn’t turn down.
There is also a widely reported clause in the contract of Christian Benteke, which Liverpool have activated, as covered by the Independent, worth £32.5 million.
A difficult situation for Aston Villa
It’s a tricky situation for Aston Villa and Tim Sherwood because of the delicate nature they have to go about dealing with their better players.
Villa can’t offer the same opportunities in terms of wages and European football compared to huge clubs, which means they have to offer players something in order to get them to commit to new contracts, even if that means a potential exit.