Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard will contemplate Tyrone Mings’ future at the club during the summer amid Newcastle’s growing interest in the England centre-back
Aston Villa defender Tyrone Mings is a £35m summer transfer target for ambitious Newcastle.
Villa captain Mings is the latest piece of the jigsaw in Toon boss Eddie Howe’s ambitious summer rebuild. Howe wants the 29-year-old England centre-back defender having originally signed him for Bournemouth from Ipswich Town back in 2015.
Villa boss Steven Gerrard is not especially desperate to offload Mings, but could be persuaded to shuffle his pack if the trade-off is that he can land Joe Gomez from Liverpool. Gerrard is a big fan of the 24-year-old defender who has slipped down the pecking order at Anfield this season.
Gerrard would see it as a good ‘swap’ if his trusted chief executive Christian Purslow could engineer the deal with Liverpool and pull off some early business. Howe is overseeing an ambitious but cautious renovation at the North East giants after doing a brilliant job steering them away from the catastrophic prospect of relegation.
His shrewd January business sparked a remarkable turnaround at St James’ Park and has put everything back on track for Newcastle following the Saudi takeover. He’s got money to spend but not the stratospheric amounts reported in some quarters. Howe’s remit is to strengthen wisely in a bid to get the club to start pushing claims for a place in the elite top six.
He’s already expected to complete one piece of business with Villa by rubber-stamping the £13m capture of Matt Targett. The defender joined Newcastle in January on loan and has already made it quite clear that he’d love to stay after an impressive spell there. Villa boss Gerrard has big plans for a summer shake-up of his squad in his first ‘proper’ window. Villa also have big backing with ambitious owners Wes Edens and Nassef Sawiris but, like Newcastle, they haven’t got a bottomless pit and also have to be mindful of not breaching the Premier League ’s financial restrictions.
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But Gerrard will have money and could generate more if he can offload the likes of Leon Bailey, Morgan Sanson and Marvelous Nakamba. One man not on the for sale list is striker Keinan Davis who is out on loan at Nottingham Forest. Forest boss Steve Cooper would like to do business if his side are promoted but he’s likely to get short shrift. Forest face Huddersfield in the play-off final but seem certain to hit a brick-wall in any attempt to sign the 24-year-old on a permanent deal. Gerrard is happy with Davis’ progress at the City Ground and sees it as a valuable part of his development.
Meanwhile, Gerrard has pulled England striker Ollie Watkins to one side and told him to stop giving himself a hard time. Villa boss Gerrard says he couldn’t be happier with his self-critical hitman who doesn’t realise just how good he is. Watkins, a £28m buy from Brentford has only scored 12 this season and his gaffer has told him not to let that get to him. Watkins will lead the attack against relegation-threatened Burnley with a ringing endorsement from Gerrard.
Gerrard said: “He’s his own worst critic. He can over-analyse himself too much. I was the worst for that but strikers can over-analyse themselves on outcomes rather than the other things they bring to the game. He’s a perfectionist but sometimes he has to appreciate himself more. Strikers are all goal-obsessed. I was a big fan of his looking in from the outside before I came here. And now I’m an even bigger fan having worked with him and seen him close up. He’s got a great all round game and he’s got a big part to play for us in the next couple of games and beyond.”