Aston Villa: Tony Xia poised to complete £76m takeover

By Pat MurphyBBC Radio 5 live
Villa Park
Villa, who won the European Cup in 1982, were last relegated from the top flight in the 1986-87 season

The £76m sale of Aston Villa to Chinese businessman Tony Xia is expected to be confirmed on Monday.

Xia has proved to the Premier League and the Football League that he has adequate funds and has passed the owners and directors test.

He flies in on Sunday night to meet Football League chairman Shaun Harvey to tick the final box of approval.

The Football League has to make the final decision because relegated Villa are no longer in the Premier League.

That is deemed to be a formality and after meeting Harvey on Monday morning, Xia is expected to travel from London to Villa Park to meet key staff.

The last piece in the jigsaw will be getting the necessary documents signed by lawyers representing current owner Randy Lerner.

Xia, who will become Villa chairman once the move is ratified, will pay £52m to buy the club with the extra £24m as an overdraft.

There will be a considerable sum available to new manager Roberto di Matteo to buy new players - up to £35m plus any money generated from selling current players.

Di Matteo will be getting the players back early to assess their prospects then taking them to Austria for pre-season training after extending the session out there from four to seven days.

He will make no decision on their futures until he has seen them face-to-face, and then in training.

But the new manager is already planning to be active in the transfer market this week.

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