Aston Villa have shown an interest in signing Matias Vecino of Inter Milan as Henri Lansbury, Marvelous Nakamba and Conor Hourihane have all fallen down the pecking order this season and seem unlikely to be at Villa Park in 2021/22.

However, the Uruguayan has been sidelined since July with a knee injury, perhaps putting doubt over a deal being executed, and Inter manager Antonio Conte has now poured cold water on Villa’s hopes of landing Vecino’s signature by dismissing talk of players leaving in January.

As per TuttoMercatoWeb, Conte said in a press conference: “(Vecino) is working separately, he is integrating and it will take some time, but you know as I said in the past that there will be no entries or exits. Therefore, when he is well, he will be reinstated in the team and will be part of the group in all respects.”

Vecino has made 96 appearances in all competitions since joining Inter from Fiorentina in 2017, scoring 11 goals and supplying six assists (Transfermarkt).

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Villa wouldn’t be signing a spring chicken if they were to land 29-year-old Vecino, so perhaps Conte is doing them a favour.

That’s not to say the Uruguayan wouldn’t be an improvement on the likes of Lansbury, Nakamba or Hourihane when fit, but there must be younger, fitter midfielders out there who could make an instant impact.

Vecino may not want to leave the Serie A giants before his deal expires in 2022 either, so it’s hard to see him swapping the San Siro for Villa Park any time soon.