Frederic Guilbert could be on his way out of Aston Villa after being dropped to the U23s following his omission from Aston Villa’s 1-0 win over Brisbane Roar and 2-2 draw with Manchester United.
Guilbert has 12 months on his deal and a contract extension is unlikely, so Villa have to cash in now or risk losing him for nothing next year. What are Gerrard’s options?
Villa paid £4.5m to sign Guilbert from SM Caen in 2019, but it remains to be seen if they’ll get every penny back through his sale. The Midlands outfit might struggle finding a suitor willing to sign him permanently too, as he’ll be free in a year’s time.
So that leaves another loan move for Guilbert. The 27-year-old was born in France, spent his entire career in his home country before joining Villa and returned to France twice when loans came about, so Ligue 1 likely beckons for him.
A return to Strasbourg seems unlikely after they signed right-back Ronaël Pierre-Gabriel, so he’ll have to join a new club – the sixth of his career after Caen, AS Cherbourg, Girondins Bordeaux, Villa and Strasbourg.
Villa will hope to get most of his wages covered, saving up to £2m-a-year, but they may want to encourage a buying obligation too. If multiple clubs show an interest in Guilbert, a buying obligation could be a way of edging out other suitors.
Guilbert and his family enjoyed their time in Strasbourg, so they may be holding out for a France return.