Gabby Agbonlahor was keen on a return to Aston Villa this summer.
Former Aston Villa striker Gabby Agbonlahor has been quoted by The Press Association and Sports Mole as saying that he offered to re-join the club for free this past summer.
Agbonlahor, 32, came up through the Villa ranks having been born in Birmingham, fulfilling a boyhood dream of playing for the club he grew up supporting.
The striker was a star in his early years, notching 49 goals in his first four full seasons for the club, but couldn’t recapture that form after the 2009-10 season.
With just 36 goals in his final seven seasons for Villa, Agbonlahor faded dramatically, and was dogged by poor fitness and injury concerns before being released at the end of last season.
Agbonlahor – who has had offers from Championship clubs and Scottish Premiership teams – hasn’t yet found a new club, but if he had it his way, his new club would have been his old club.
Agbonlahor has now revealed that he offered to re-sign for the club and then-manager Steve Bruce over the summer, and even offered to play for free given their financial difficulties.
However, Villa were then taken over by Wes Edens and Nassef Sawiris, meaning those money fears were alleviated, and in case Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham on loan instead.
“I was aware a couple of strikers had what seemed to be long-term injuries and everyone knew the club had financial difficulties, so I asked my agent to speak with Steve Bruce and make the offer I would play for free,” said Agbonlahor. “There were no strings attached, I didn’t want paying, no appearance money, nothing, it was a genuine offer to help the club I love.”
“The manager had been good for me when he arrived. I had been in a bad place before he was appointed and he gave me the opportunity to get back involved. He was appreciative of my offer but no one was aware the club was in the final stages of being sold to sort the financial problems,” he added.