Remi Garde quiet on Scott Sinclair links with Swansea, addresses Aston Villa's lack of signings

Rémi Garde

The 26-year-old winger is reportedly in talks about a January move to the Liberty Stadium.

Aston Villa manager Remi Garde has refused to be drawn on the future of Scott Sinclair amid reports linking the 26-year-old winger with a return to former club Swansea City.

Sinclair previously enjoyed a successful two-year stint at the Liberty Stadium, where he netted 36 goals in 91 total appearances before leaving for Manchester City in August 2012.

However, he featured only 19 times for the Blues before joining Villa last January on an initial loan deal which later became a £2.5 million permanent move after the club retained their Premier League status.

The former England Under-21 international has since scored six times in 21 games for the Midlands side this term, but the likes of Sky Sports have reported that he is now holding talks with relegation rivals Swansea about a potential move back to Wales.

Nevertheless, speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of the weekend’s trip to West Bromwich Albion, Garde was keeping tight-lipped when asked about the former loanee’s chances of leaving Villa Park this month.

“I’m not prepared to talk about speculation,” he told reporters. “It’s only speculation. I have nothing to say about any particular name – either in my team or another player – because it’s only speculation.

“In this period, there is a lot of speculation. There are a lot of agents working hard for their players and a lot of media wanting to know things, and it creates a lot of stuff which 90 per cent of the time doesn’t happen.

“If it happens, I will be happy to talk to you about any player who has gone or I signed, but before then it’s useless for me. I don’t want to talk about that.”

Meanwhile, Garde has still not made his first signing as Villa manager, and new chairman Steve Hollis and chief executive Tom Fox appeared to suggest at last night’s Supporters’ Trust AGM that he will have limited resources to spend as the final week of the winter transfer window approaches.

The club currently sit 10 points from safety at the foot of the table with only 16 games remaining, and after seeing the likes of Bournemouth, Newcastle United and Norwich City all splash out this month, fans have been left frustrated with the lack of business going on at B6.

However, while Garde remains hopeful of bringing in at least a couple of new faces before the window closes, he also stressed that his main focus remains on getting the best out of his current squad.

“What is important for me is not the number of the players I’ve got, it’s the quality of players I’ve got,” he said at his press conference. “I am very happy that the chairman spoke about Villa’s situation because I think the current situation is the result of many years. I’m not the person that is the best man to speak about what happened before. I have to respect the situation that we are in.

“My job is to do the best with the players I have in the team. It’s not a short-term view that I heard yesterday, it’s a long-term view. I think probably this club has suffered from too many short-term views. I know that I am in trouble but then I’m not scared about.

“I have the feeling that we showed over the last games that we were better. I’m not a magic man but I’m someone who wants to work very hard for this football club because I believe we can get out of this difficult situation.

“I’m focused only on that – to try to spread my message around the players, which is why I am here. I’m not here to make questions about other stuff. There are other people here to do that. That’s what the chairman did yesterday. My job is to be focused on how I can exploit the potential of the team I’ve been given to work with.

“Of course I’ve made some recommendations to the board about signing players, but this is not up to me to decide to have the final decision on how much money we should spend, and I respect that.

“I know you people would like me to act differently, but I have to be fair, I’m not here to complain. I’m here to give my best and I’m expecting the same from my players.”

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