Aston Villa are engulfed in a financial crisis at the moment owing to the Financial Fair Play regulations as they have to raise £40million to avoid administration. Steve Bruce has admitted that the club has to sell some of its key players like James Chester, Jack Grealish and Jonathan Kodjia and if their exits eventually materialize, the Villans are definitely going to suffer a huge blow to their promotional aspirations.
Other clubs are well aware of what has been transpiring at the Villa Park and they cannot be blamed for trying to make full use of the situation. They are keen to prise players out of the Villa Park for cheap as the Championship outfit are handicapped. For instance, Grealish is valued at £30million by the Lions but Tottenham Hotspur are ready to roll out half of what Aston Villa are seeking, i.e., £15million.
According to a recent report by Birmingham Mail, Middlesbrough have emerged as one of the contenders to sign Aston Villa midfielder, Birkir Bjarnason. Apart from Tony Pulis’ camp, several Italian clubs and Trabzonspor have also registered their interest after Bjarnason represented the Iceland national side in the World Cup.
The Smoggies gave a tough fight in the race of promotion to the top flight last season but unfortunately, they failed in the playoffs. Nonetheless, they have a strong side and adding someone like Bjarnason to the ranks will be a huge statement of intent from the former West Bromwich Albion manager for their endeavours this season. The Iceland international has volumes of experience under his belt, which will surely come handy for Middlesbrough.
After spells with Viking, Standard Liege, Pescara, Sampdoria and FC Basel, the 30-year-old signed for Aston Villa in the January transfer window of 2017. Although he took some time to acclimatize to English football, he moulded himself nicely. In all fairness, he was a solid player in the middle of the park, more often than not, particularly during the later stages of the 2017-18 season.
In 25 appearances, he scored 3 goals and bagged 2 assists. Besides, he mustered 1 tackle, 0.5 interceptions, 1.1 clearances and 0.3 blocks per game on an average. He is a composed player who is known for his defensive contributions. Bjarnason has the know-how to cushion the back line as well as to knit the side together as a unit and his versatility of operating from the central defensive midfield, central midfield and from the wings makes him a utility player.
Statistics Credits: WhoScored