Do links with Real Zaragoza's Angel reflect Aston Villa's harsh financial reality?

Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce

Aston Villa are reportedly being forced to operate on a shoestring budget this summer - and reports suggesting they could move for Angel reflect that.

Aston Villa manager Steve BruceAston Villa manager Steve Bruce

You’d forgive Aston Villa supporters for deciding against sprinting down to the ticket office when they learn the identity of their latest transfer target.

According to the Daily Mail, Angel Luis Rodriguez Diaz is on the clubs radar this summer after hitting 21 goals in 39 games for Spanish second division outfit Real Zaragoza last season.

Striker Angel in action for LevanteAngel at former club Levante

Those numbers are certainly impressive but Angel is no budding youngster aiming to take a major step forward in a burgeoning career. Instead, the striker is 30 years of age and has spent almost the entirety of his career in the Spanish lower leagues.

Therefore, links with Aston Villa, as well as QPR, Hull City and Reading, certainly come as a surprise.

And you can’t help wonder whether this is a response to news that Financial Fair Play regulations mean Aston Villa will not be allowed to throw their weight around in the transfer market this summer.

Harsh reality

The Midlands giants spent around £70 million in 2016/17, including over £40 million on forward trio Scott Hogan, Ross McCormack and Jonathan Kodjia, the latter becoming the most expensive player in Championship history when moving from Bristol City.

Aston Villa's Jonathan Kodjia celebrates scoring their first goalThe days of paying £15m for the likes of Kodjia appear to be over for now

However, with The Telegraph reporting that manager Steve Bruce will have to operate on a minimal budget unless he earns funds by selling the club’s ill-fitting forgotten men, supporters could be forgiven for viewing Angel as something of a cheap option.

His goalscoring record has been exceptional since moving to Zaragoza after Eibar’s promotion to La Liga in 2015 but he will be available for nothing with his contract expiring this summer.

Therefore, links with 2016/17’s 13th placed second tier side could reflect the difficult times ahead for Aston Villa.

Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce

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