Aston Villa striker Jonathan Kodjia has reportedly informed the club he hopes to leave this summer. The transfer window may have closed for Premier League clubs but players can still depart and the transfer window in Europe remains open.
Reports in Turkey claim Besiktas are keen on Kodjia and the Villa striker wants to move to the Istanbul giants.
Villa are keen to keep hold of Kodjia as he is one of just three recognised centre forwards in their squad, the others being summer recruit Wesley and youngster Keinan Davis.
The France-born Ivory Coast international came off the bench, replacing Wesley, in the 3-1 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur in Villa’s season-opener and if he remains at Villa Park will have a role to play this season – but the club may be forced to cash in regardless.
The 29-year-old is due to fall out of contract next summer and, as such, Villa run the risk of losing him as a free agent if they opt against a sale this summer. If the reports he has requested a move are accurate, manager Dean Smith may have a player within his squad who is no longer committed to the cause and that comes with further problems.
The news Kodjia might want to move on comes as somewhat of a surprise as he was expected to be a part of Villa’s Premier League squad this season.
Smith does have other attacking options and wingers Trezeguet and Jota could potentially be asked to play in central roles if Kodjia does move on and Villa are left short on options up front. Neither have particularly impressive scoring records from the wide areas, but should Kodjia get his wish and secure a move to Besiktas it could be a case of damage limitation for Smith and Villa until the January transfer window opens.
Villa entertain Bournemouth in the Premier League on Saturday and Smith has confirmed Kodjia won’t be involved due to injury, although his absence will only fuel rumours of unrest and a potential move.
Clubs in Turkey have until September 2 to add to their squad before the transfer window closes so there could be plenty more speculation over Kodjia’s future for the next couple of weeks.
The former Bristol City man has 29 goals in 98 appearances in all competitions for Villa since joining the Midlanders three years ago but was not always first choice in the Championship last season, starting 22 games in Villa’s eventual promotion campaign, scoring nine goals.