Aston Villa could exploit contract doubt and complete £20m transfer of Leeds United flop

-Credit: (Image: PA)
-Credit: (Image: PA)

Aston Villa have been linked with a summer move for Juventus midfielder and former Leeds United loanee Weston McKennie. The US international has a single year remaining on his contract in Italy and could be sold this summer if Juve seek to earn a sum rather than allow him to leave for nothing 12 months from now, in the event a new deal isn't agreed.

McKennie, who has played regularly in Serie A this season as Juve finished third behind runaway champions Inter Milan and neighbours AC, played 38 times in all competitions having returned from Elland Road last summer; McKennie joined Leeds in January 2023 as they looked to strengthen their squad ahead of their ultimately fruitless survival attempt.

McKennie, 25, played 19 matches for the Whites under three different managers; having agreed to move and play under compatriot Jesse Marsch, he quickly made way for Javi Gracia, who didn't last the remainder of the season and was replaced for the final four matches by Sam Allardyce.

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The midfielder wasn't impressed by how his loan played out, from the management changes to the on-field results: "I didn't help that when I got there, I went there because of Jesse Marsch. And then two weeks after I got there he was sacked. I had four different managers in six months. One of my coaches, honestly I don't think he even knew who I was.

"If a player is coming in on loan, you should know your squad. He put me outside the box for corner kicks - and in my head I'm like, 'I've scored like 85% of my goals in my career off set pieces and crosses.'"

It's claimed by Tutto Juve, via Sport Witness, that Villa, Everton and Newcastle United could look to exploit McKennie's contract situation and look to offer him a second shot at the Premier League in more stable surroundings after his Leeds experience. Juve themselves are open to retaining McKennie beyond 2025 and the expiry of his agreement.