Report: Aston Villa set to axe head of recruitment Paddy Riley

Aston Villa

Riley has faced plenty of scrutiny in the media this season over the club's summer transfer policy.

Aston Villa are ready to axe head of player recruitment Paddy Riley as they prepare to begin next season in the Championship, according to the Telegraph.

Riley originally spent seven years heading up Villa’s performance analysis department before leaving the club in 2012 to become scouting coordinator at Liverpool.

However, he returned to B6 in 2014 to take up a more hands-on role and, along with former sporting director Hendrik Almstadt, is believed to have been the driving force behind the team’s summer transfer spending, which saw 13 signings made with the funds raised from the sales of Fabian Delph and Christian Benteke.

Villa have seen little return on their estimated £52 million worth of investment over the course of campaign, however, as they currently sit 12 points from safety at the foot of the Premier League with only seven games left and relegation looking all but inevitable.

The new board, fronted by chairman Steve Hollis and former FA chief David Bernstein, are now carrying out a full-scale review of the club and, according to the Telegraph, have been shocked at some of the mismanagement uncovered behind the scenes.

Heads have already rolled this month, with Almstadt leaving Villa Park followed shortly by chief executive Tom Fox, while manager Remi Garde is also expected to move on in the near future as talks continue over his position following a dreadful run of results.

Riley, meanwhile, has allegedly faced fresh and damning scrutiny over the state of the club’s scouting network and is now on the brink of becoming the latest high-profile departure.

The Telegraph’s report also makes a stunning claim about his relationship with Garde, claiming the pair are barely on speaking terms anymore after he told the Frenchman that “January targets did not want to move to Villa – only for Garde then to speak to the players directly and discover they had never been contacted”.

Register for ASTON VILLA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch