Jordan Veretout’s future at Aston Villa is far from certain when he returns from a loan spell with Saint-Etienne in the summer.

The midfielder scored the only goal as Les Verts defeated Dijon at the weekend, with Villa owner Dr Tony Xia taking to Twitter to hint that despite interest from elsewhere he could be retained at Villa Park next season.

Whether Veretout would want to stay is unlikely; he has played top-flight football in France this term whilst also competing in the Europa League, whereas his parent club are set for another year in the Championship after a woeful start to 2017 effectively ended their play-off hopes.

In addition, the Midlanders signed a host of central midfielders in January, with Henri Lansbury, Birkir Bjarnason and Conor Hourihane all coming into the squad.

Manager Steve Bruce will not want major upheaval in the summer after overseeing a remarkable turnover of players in the last window, which included loaning out Ross McCormack, Pierluigi Gollini and Aaron Tshibola, each of whom had been with the team for less than six months.

A move back to France for Veretout still seems the most likely outcome but with over three years left to run on his Villa deal Xia may prefer to keep him around for the time being.

The 24-year-old’s strike on Sunday was his fourth of the season and kept Saint-Etienne seventh in the Ligue 1 table and in the hunt for European places.


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