Tony Xia has stunned Aston Villa executives after refusing to sanction a sale of shares in the club to an American investor group.

The Chinese owner has refused to deal with the Americans as a response to United States President Donald Trump’s ongoing attempts to restrict imports to the country.

Protectionist tariffs are set to take effect on Chinese imports at the end of the month, and a periphery battle seems to be playing out at Villa Park.

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Despite the Villa brass negotiating an agreement with the investor group, Xia has reportedly refused to sign off on the contract.

With the club in financial turmoil after failing to gain promotion to the Premier League, Xia was known to be hoping for a cash injection to sustain another assault on the Championship summit.

Despite this, the owner will not be moved on his unwillingness to enter into business with Americans.

With astronomical costs, Xia will need to find another way to finance his dream of taking Villa into the Champions League.