Aston Villa manager Dean Smith has laughed off reports suggesting Ezri Konsa has emerged as a transfer target for Liverpool and Tottenham.
The 23-year-old centre-half is said to be attracting admiring glances from across the Premier League after seeing his stock continue to soar in 2020-21.
Villa have no intention of parting with a prized asset that they snapped up from Brentford in 2019, with Smith reading little into the rumours that continue to rage in the West Midlands.
What has been said?
“I will joke with him about it,” Villa boss Smith has told reporters when quizzed on the speculation that Konsa is generating.
“He’s excelling in his position; he’s been one of our best players this season, very consistent and reliable.”
Why is Konsa in demand?
The former England U21 international, who has seen senior recognition with the Three Lions mooted heading towards this summer’s European Championship, has been a model of consistency for Villa.
He has taken in 21 appearances this season, helping to keep 10 clean sheets along the way.
Considerable value for money has been found in a £12 million ($17m) deal, with it suggested that Konsa’s price tag is now rocketing.
Villa legend Gabriel Agbonlahor has told Football Insider: “He’s just got to keep doing what he’s doing. Keep clean sheets, it’s all about stats nowadays so keep the clean sheets coming.
“I’ve heard that he’s a good lad, he’s very confident in his ability. Great signing from Dean Smith. Every signing’s been perfect. He came from Brentford, didn’t cost a huge amount of money and now he’s probably worth five times that amount.”
Any other business at Villa?
Smith has revealed that Matty Cash, who is nursing a thigh injury, is set to be ruled out for the foreseeable future, in what is an untimely blow to the Villans’ plans.
“Cash will be out, he’s got a hamstring strain. I’m not sure the level of grading but it’ll certainly be a few weeks out, which is a blow for us,” Smith added ahead of a meeting with Leicester on Sunday.
“But it’s something we’ve been quite capable of dealing with so far. We haven’t had too many injuries but when we have, people have come in and done a job.
“[Cash] will certainly be a miss but we’ve got the likes of Elmo [Ahmed Elmohamady], who hasn’t played many games this season, fit and able to come in.”