Italian agent makes bold claim about Aston Villa and Sunderland's spending power

Giovanni Branchini claims Aston Villa and Sunderland can challenge with Juventus and Milan in terms of spending power.

Italian football agent Giovanni Branchini has told Calcio Mercato that the TV money in England now means that Aston Villa and Sunderland can compete with Juventus and Milan financially.

This summer saw unprecedented spending in the Premier League, and not just from the usual big spenders such as Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United.

Teams like Newcastle splashed out for Dutch Player of the Year Georginio Wijnaldum, West Ham snapped up French sensation Dimitri Payet and Crystal Palace pulled off one of the signings of the summer by luring Yohan Cabaye back to England from Paris Saint-Germain.

It's now mid-table teams who have spending power to sign some of Europe's most talented players - and whilst those foreign clubs are benefiting with the revenue from outgoing transfers, they are also finding it increasingly hard to compete with English teams.

Italian agent Giovanni Branchini has spoken to Calcio Mercato about the situation, and claims that even clubs such as Aston Villa and Sunderland are in a position to challenge with the likes of Juventus and AC Milan - recent Champions League mainstays - on a financial basis.

"A lot," said Branchini when asked how the transfer market has changed recently. "English football is growing very fast, whilst for Italian football, for example, it would be more and more complicated to buy not only the biggest stars like Neymar but the second or third level too. At this moment Sunderland or Aston Villa can spend as well as Juventus or Milan do, because of the TV rights," he added.

Villa splashed the cash in order to sign the likes of Jordan Amavi, Jordan Veretout, Idrissa Gueye, Jordan Ayew and Adama Traore, though Sunderland fans may not agree over their spending power, with fans still disgruntled over the lack of backing manager Dick Advocaat has received.

One thing is for sure though. With the TV revenue money in the Premier League rising, the previously unfashionable clubs now have the financial clout to sign star players - something Juventus and Milan certainly haven't been used to in recent years.

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