Aston Villa owner Dr. Tony Xia blasts release clauses as club prepares for Idrissa Gana exit

Stoke's Charlie Adam in action with Aston Villa's Idrissa Gueye

The Villa chairman says Gana is following ex-captain Fabian Delph in appearing to betray the club.

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

Aston Villa owner and chairman Dr. Tony Xia has launched a critical attack on the club's previous policy of inserting release clauses into key players' contracts, explaining that it gives stars the chance to "betray" the club, and compared midfielder Idrissa Gana Gueye with former captain Fabian Delph.

Villa look set to lose Gana, arguably the stand-out player of their dismal campaign last season, for a lower fee than they paid for the midfielder just 12 months ago.

That is because the 26-year-old, who joined the club from Lille last summer in a deal worth a reported £9 million, has a release clause allegedly amounting to just about £7.5 million in his contract.

Everton are thought to have activated that clause with an offer, and both Xia and manager Roberto Di Matteo appear to have given up hope of convincing the midfielder to stay.

Stoke's Charlie Adam in action with Aston Villa's Idrissa Gueye

Xia, who took control of Villa earlier this year after buying out previous owner Randy Lerner, has voiced his anger at the policy of allowing release clauses to be inserted into contracts, suggesting that it gives players a chance to "betray" clubs.

The Villa owner wrote on his personal Twitter account: "Once someone has clause in contract, [it] looks like being given a chance to betray. Said staying one day and escaped the other day. D now G!"

While the "G" in that message is fairly self-explanatory in its reference to Gana, the D is surely a reference to Fabian Delph's controversial departure from Villa Park a year ago.

After performing not one but two u-turns on his future, the then-captain left Villa for Manchester City after the former Premier League champions triggered a release clause which it emerged had been inserted in the new contract the midfielder had signed just six months earlier.

As a result of the clause, Villa received just £8 million for their captain and star man, a fee which was likely around half of what they would have hoped to command otherwise.

West Brom's Claudio Yacob in action with Aston Villa's Idrissa Gueye

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