Aston Villa boss Dean Smith appears to have suffered a major blow before the start of the summer transfer window.
With the Premier League season in its closing stages, all eyes will firmly be squared towards how Villa can take another big step towards breaking into the European places for next year.
But, they will have to do so without the expertise of Rob Mackenzie, who Football Insider report is closing in on a “shock” move to Bristol City.
The report claims that the club’s transfer guru, who joined as head of recruitment to work alongside sporting director Johan Lange, is heading to Bristol to be reunited with Nigel Pearson, who he has previously worked with at Leicester.
Given that the season is now almost over, news that one of the club’s highest-ranking officials involved in the whole transfer process is set to leave just before the window starts is a real body blow for Smith.
The Villa boss will have been to kick-start the summer window with a bang, but Mackenzie’s imminent exit may just set things back for the club, who should have at least had a plan ready beforehand.
The news from Bodymoor Heath about Mackenzie is a real shock, and it’s one Smith will desperately be hoping doesn’t have a major impact on proceedings at Villa Park over the coming weeks and months.
Transfers can often be complex and losing a key figure so close to the window opening is a blow for Smith and both he and the Villa hierarchy will need to get all their ducks in a row ASAP with the end of the season approaching quickly.