By Jonty Banks

18th May, 2023 | 8:10pm

Unai Emery already in 'difficult conversations' with Aston Villa players ahead of transfer clear-out

We’re delighted to welcome former Aston Villa full-back Alan Hutton as our exclusive columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at Villa Park

Unai Emery will already be having “difficult conversations” with the Aston Villa players he intends to sell this summer, according to Alan Hutton.

After a quiet January transfer window in which Jhon Duran and Alex Moreno were the club’s only two purchases, Villa Park is expected to be a hive of activity this summer.

The Sun has reported [11 May] that Emery will be given a £200million budget to use in the upcoming window, with several exits expected as a result.

Decisions are yet to be made on loanees Marvelous Nakamba, Morgan Sanson and Finn Azaz, while Cameron Archer’s future at Aston Villa after his spell at Middlesbrough remains unclear.

“I think he will already know,” Hutton exclusively told Villa News.

“He would have been assessing the squad the whole time he has been there, so he will have a really good idea of who he wants to move on, what positions he needs people to come in, and then he will just crack on and move forward.

“Normally, what you find towards the end of the season, maybe after the last game, you will have a meeting with the manager, and he would basically tell you if your future lay there or if they were looking to move you on, so you could get a heads up early.

“So he is probably having difficult conversations with players between now and the end of the season, but ultimately he has to do that to mould this squad into what he sees fit.”

Aston Villa’s plans in the upcoming window are likely to hinge on whether they manage to secure European football for next season.

Emery’s side currently sit behind Spurs on goal difference in 8th place, with just two games of their Premier League season remaining.

In other Aston Villa news, the future of this loanee hangs in the balance as contract talks await.