Finally some respite from selling their star performers, the claret and blue faithful could relax and look forward to embracing the incomings rather than cursing those going out. Sadly, though, in football history has a habit of repeating itself. And the chance of Villa losing their prized asset is once again a very realistic possibility. Owner Tony Xia initially eased fears that Jordan Ayew would be sold when he confirmed ‘he will stay’ via his growing Twitter account. However, until the transfer window closes don’t be so sure. Sources in Greece today claim that Olympiacos are in advanced talks with the African’s representatives over a move. They’re the latest in a long list of clubs to be linked with last season’s top goalscorer and unofficial player-of-the-year. Over the weekend Hamburg bid £8million for his services but are thought to have been knocked back while there’s other interest from Turkey and France. West Ham are also desperate for a new forward and have checked out Ayew in the past but their priorities lie elsewhere. Unsurprisingly the 24-year-old is flattered by the interest but he still knows he’s got a good thing going on at Villa. A safe four-year contract worth around £2.5m-a-year in the bag and the opportunity to be the star striker who scores the goals that fire Villa back into the big-time. In a year’s time he could be a Premier League player again with an ever bigger bank balance. No wonder he told Ghana TV recently that he’ll stick around.
With six weeks remaining, though, things can easily change. Christian Benteke and Fabian Delph were going nowhere but look what happened last year. And while Villa fans will look back at Xia’s tweet from July 17 and thank the Chinese businessman if Ayew is still a Villa player come September 1, the reality is the speculation is only just beginning. Given that over a dozen clubs have registered an interest in the striker, expect more suitors to come forward in times ahead. That’s where it becomes a concern for Villa because a big offer or an attractive move for the player could change the whole situation. The reason I’m writing this is because the interest isn’t going away and Ayew’s importance is continuing to grow. We’re now at the stage where only a blockbuster signing would make up for his departure and boss Roberto Di Matteo has already admitted he’s in no rush to make a move. Don’t expect this to end soon. Strap up and sit tight because the ride will take on many more twists and turns.