Aston Villa transfer news: Edens & Sawiris hold meeting with Jorge Mendes

Former Wolves manager and potential Aston Villa target Nuno Espirito Santo looking at the floor

Super-agent Jorge Mendes has contacted Aston Villa owners Wes Edens and Nassef Sawiris over the possibility of his client Nuno Espirito Santo replacing Dean Smith as the club's manager this summer, as reported by Football Insider.

What's the latest news on Nuno?

Nuno only departed Wolves at the end of the 2020/21 season after four years at the club, but it appears that his next move is being lined up already.

It was reported last month that Mendes was eyeing up a shock move for his client to Villa Park, and he now seems to have stepped up his efforts to make this a reality by reaching out to Edens and Sawiris recently.

Is Dean Smith under pressure?

Potentially.

Despite guiding Villa to 11th place this season, it is understood that his position is not completely secure. While it seems that he could start next season as Villa's manager, he may well come under pressure if the side start the campaign poorly.

Edens and Sawiris are ambitious owners who want Villa to be battling for a top six finish in the years ahead. The Midlands-based club finished 10 points outside the top six this term.

Are there other names in the mix to replace Smith?

Back in April, it was claimed that Villa's owners were keen on trying to bring Steven Gerrard over to the Premier League.

The former Liverpool player does still have three years left on his contract at Rangers, though, suggesting that he may be a less realistic target than Nuno, who is currently out of work.

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Would Nuno be an upgrade on Smith?

Villa did finish 10 points above Wolves in the table in 2020/21, indicating that Smith actually out-coached Nuno this year. However, when looking at the bigger picture, it appears that Nuno is better qualified to lead Villa into Europe.

He managed to do just that with Wolves in 2019/20, as the side made it through to the quarter-finals of the Europa League before being eliminated by eventual winners Sevilla. Nuno may have had an off-year over the past 12 months, but leading Wolves to back-to-back top seven finishes before that is an achievement that should not be overlooked.

Meanwhile, Smith has done a solid job this season, and there has been clear progression from the previous year when Villa avoided relegation by the skin of their teeth. However, the side appeared to run out of ideas in the latter stages of the season, losing five of their final 10 matches.

With Tottenham, Arsenal and Everton faltering at various stages of the year, it seemed that Villa could have got into the European mix, but they ultimately fell comfortably short of achieving this target.

It appears that Smith may have taken Villa as far as they can go, and that it could be the right time for Edens and Sawiris to make the ruthless decision of replacing him with Nuno this summer.

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