Here are your Aston Villa morning headlines on Tuesday, May 25.
Villa ‘make contact’ with Werder about Rashica transfer
Aston Villa could net a bargain transfer this summer.
According to reports in Italy, the relegation of German side Werder Bremen from the Bundesliga has opened the door for Milot Rashica‘s departure from the club.
Bremen ended the 2020-21 campaign in 17th place after 34 games, condemning them to the drop and next season in the second tier.
Rashica was heavily linked with a move to Villa last summer and again in January and now Calciomercato, via Sport Witness, is claiming that Dean Smith’s side have made contact with Bremen about the player.
Premier League rivals Leeds United and Southampton were also credited with an interest in the player while Italian side Napoli and AC Milan have also been linked with the Kosovo international.
Rashica saw a deadline-day move to Leverkusen fall through in January with the player remaining at Werder despite intense debate about his future at Werder.
Tuchel makes stunning claim after Villa defeat
Thomas Tuchel bemoaned the ‘soft penalty’ Chelsea conceded against Aston Villa and claimed his players were punished more harshly than those in claret and blue.
Villa signed off the 2020/21 season with a 2-1 victory against Chelsea on Sunday, putting in a fine performance to end the campaign with back-to-back victories after beating Tottenham midweek.
Chelsea had the better of the first half but went in 1-0 down after Bertrand Traore scored his eighth goal of the season from a smartly-worked Matt Targett corner.
Villa doubled their advantage through Anwar El Ghazi’s penalty after former Chelsea winger Traore was brought down by Jorginho in the box. The VAR agreed with referee Stuart Attwell’s judgement that there was contact between Traore and Jorginho’s leg, but Tuchel felt the decision was harsh.
Ben Chilwell got one back for Chelsea half an hour from time but Tuchel’s side couldn’t find another way past Emiliano Martinez and ended the game with 10 men when Cesar Azpilicueta was shown a red card.
Azpilicueta could have few complaints having lashed out at Villa captain Jack Grealish with his hand.
But Tuchel claimed: “Maybe I was not surprised in the end that it was a red card for us and players from Aston Villa get away with (no punishment).”
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Villa sent plea over Pereira move
Villa should raid West Bromwich Albion for winger Matheus Pereira, according to former England striker Emile Heskey.
The Brazilian took to life in the Premier League with ease this season, despite being a part of a struggling Albion side who were relegated in 19th place.
Pereira scored 10 goals in the league and assisted six more, meaning he was directly involved in half of his side’s goals.
The 25-year-old future at The Hawthorns is in severe doubt with Albion having dropped back into the Championship and there will likely be a host of suitors interested in offering him an opportunity to remain in the top flight.
Villa are said to be among them with reports from the Athletic claiming Pereira is firmly on sporting director Johan Lange’s shortlist going into the summer.
Villa want to add attacking reinforcements to Smith’s squad and Pereira is proven on the Premier League stage.
Heskey, who spent three years at Villa Park, believes a move to B6 would suit Pereira down to the ground.
Villa player ratings in FA Youth Cup triumph
Villa landed the much-coveted FA Youth Cup trophy after breezing past Liverpool in front of 4,406 fans at Villa Park.
The triumph is Villa’s fourth in this showpiece competition, having last lifted it in 2002 when the likes of Liam Ridgewell, Steven Davis, Peter Whittingham and the Moore brothers – Luke and Stefan – beat Wayne Rooney’s Everton 19 years ago.
Villa’s current crop – managed by Sean Verity and Liam Bramley – have been fantastic value all season long and fired in 28 goals across the six rounds of the FA Youth Cup.
In terms of the match action, it was carnival-like once more at Villa Park a little over 24 hours after Dean Smith’s first team humbled Chelsea on their big homecoming.
The versatile Ben Chrisene got this party started after just seven minutes when he thumped home a sweet strike from the edge of the area after being brilliantly picked out by Arjan Raikhy.