Aston Villa may struggle to persuade Veretout to return

Jordan Veretout has told But! Football Club that he is unsure whether he will stay at St Etienne or return to parent club Aston Villa in the summer.

What’s the word?

The French midfielder joined the Villans from Nantes in 2015, but was unable to help keep the Midlands outfit in the Premier League.

It seemed as though he did not have much intent on slogging it out in the Championship, so Veretout returned to his homeland for a season-long loan spell at St Etienne.

Since making the move, the 24-year-old has made 27 Ligue 1 appearances, scoring three goals and producing as many assists.

With the season coming to a close, questions are being raised about Veretout’s long-term future, but even he does not know.

The midfielder told the publication:

“We’ll see. People ask me this question a lot, more and more, but there’s eight games left. I’m focused on the end of the season. I’ll think about my future afterwards. We have the holidays to discuss it.

“Staying at Sainte, I’m not saying no, nor am I saying yes. I just want to think about football and we’ll see after the last game week how things go.”

Should Villa try to persuade him to return?

In December, club owner Tony Xia tweeted that Veretout will be free to leave on a permanent basis when his loan expires because he is not happy at Villa, according to the Birmingham Mail.

If an agreement is already in place with St Etienne, then it will be ten times harder for Villa to bring him back.

However, it seems as though manager Steve Bruce could be keen after he watched Veretout play against Manchester United in the Europa League.

Given that Villa currently reside 12th in the Championship, 11 points adrift of the playoff places, it is highly unlikely that they will secure promotion back to the Premier League.

With that in mind, Veretout was not keen to play in the second tier before, and there has been no indication that he has changed his mind.