Report claims Aston Villa will dismiss Paddy Riley when Tony Xia assumes control

Xia Jiantong, the chairman of Recon Group, who has agreed to buy English soccer club Aston Villa, poses for pictures in his office in Beijing

Riley is a controversial figure amongst Villa fans after his recruitment policy in recent years backfired.

Xia Jiantong, the chairman of Recon Group, who has agreed to buy English soccer club Aston Villa, poses for pictures in his office in Beijing

There have already already been a host of changes to Aston Villa's board in recent months and it seems as though there could be yet another on the horizon, with the Birmingham Mail claiming that head of recruitment Paddy Riley could be set for the axe.

Riley is an unpopular figure with Villa supporters as his scouting and signing policy in recent years has backfired on the club, with a host of hotly-tipped arrivals failing to live up to their potential.

Players such as Jordan Ayew, Idriss Gana, Jordan Veretout, and Rudy Gestede were brought in for relatively big money last summer, and though Ayew and Gana in particular have been two of Villa's shining lights, the overall recruitment has not been good enough.

Jordan Ayew celebrates with Rudy Gestede (L) and Idrissa Gueye (R) after scoring the second goal for Aston Villa

There were also widespread reports, and veiled suggestions from the manager himself, that former Villa boss Tim Sherwood was overruled on signings by Riley and the board on multiple occasions last summer.

According to the Birmingham Mail, Riley's tenure at the club is set to come to an end once the takeover of the club from Chinese businessman Tony Xia is ratified.

Aston Villa's Brad Guzan, Ciaran Clark and teammates look dejected after Watford's third goal

If true, Villa fans will not bemoan the move after the unforgivable failings of the club in recent years, and particularly the last 12 months which have seen the club relegated for the first time in 28 years.

Though it is thought the club could revisit the strategy of employing a sporting director under Xia, many supporters will likely be hoping that whoever is chosen as the club;s new manager is given complete control over additions to and departures from their own squad ahead of the test of life in the Championship.

Aston Villa's Rudy Gestede in action

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