It feels like it’s getting worse every day for Aston Villa.
If everything had gone to plan, they would be a Premier League side right now with John Terry, Robert Snodgrass, Lewis Grabban and Sam Johnstone all having committed their future to the Birmingham giants.
Instead, Villa lost the Championship play-off final to a single Fulham goal and are now in crisis. Villa need to raise at least £40million to avoid Financial Fair Play sanctions, which means the club’s key players are likely to be sold.
Jack Grealish is reportedly heading to Tottenham Hotspur, while the likes of Mile Jedinak, James Chester and Jonathan Kodjia have been linked with the exit door too.
And latest reports in the Mirror (live blog, 10.26am) indicate just how desperate things have become at Villa Park. It is understood that manager Steve Bruce has been told that the club cannot even afford to bring in free agents right now.
So in addition with seeing his squad picked apart, Bruce is in an unenviable position where it could prove almost impossible to sign potential replacements.
Whether Villa can afford loan deals, however, remains to be seen. The Liverpool Echo clam that Villa want Liverpool starlet Harry Wilson while the Birmingham Mail credits them with an interest in Southampton striker Sam Gallagher.