Aston Villa sporting director Jesus Garcia Pitarch sacked

Villa spent over £140m last summer, with Pitarch at the forefront of player identification and appointment

Jesus Garcia Pitarch left Villa Park yesterday after 21 months in the job
Image: Jesus Garcia Pitarch left Villa Park on Monday after 21 months in the job

Aston Villa have sacked sporting director Jesus Garcia Pitarch, after criticism of the club's recruitment strategy.

Pitarch left Villa Park on Monday, a day after the club ensured Premier League survival with a 1-1 draw at West Ham.

As Sky Sports News reported on Monday, Dean Smith's future as Villa manager is 100 per cent secure after leading his side to safety and he will have money for new players in this transfer window, but the club has already begun a review of the season, with recruitment especially under the spotlight.

Villa spent over £140m last summer, with Pitarch at the forefront of player identification and appointment.

Dean Smith
Image: Dean Smith has received a healthy financial bonus for keeping the club in the top division

Some newspaper reports in the last month suggested Smith's job was on the line, with Villa owners Wes Edens and Nassef Sawiris unhappy that the club was in a relegation battle.

But Sky Sports News has been told Villa's hierarchy was considering sticking with Smith, even if the club was immediately relegated back to the Championship.

Smith was responsible for the signing of Tyrone Mings and Tom Heaton, but it was Pitarch who was oversaw the deal for club-record signing Wesley, who cost £21m, as well as Matt Targett, Marvelous Nakamba and Mbwana Samatta.

Also See:

Pitarch was also key to the transfer of Trezeguet, who scored three goals in the final few games to help keep Villa in the Premier League.

Jack Grealish celebrates his goal at West Ham 1:49
Rob Dorsett believes Aston Villa will not accept any deal under £60m for captain Jack Grealish after they clinched survival on Sunday.

Villa are now looking to recruit a new sporting director, who will be tasked with recruitment as well as attempting to hold on to the club's current star players - most notably, Jack Grealish.

Villa have no desire to sell Grealish - unless a big-money offer is made for the club's captain and talisman.

Manchester United are among a number of clubs interested in the 24-year-old midfielder, but they have other transfer targets as well.

What's next?

The 2020/21 Premier League season kicks off on September 12 2020, and will run until May 23 2021. The EFL has confirmed the Championship season will commence on the same weekend, with their regular seasons ending on the weekend of May 8 2021.

    Premier League clubs have voted for the summer transfer window to open the day after the 2019/20 season ends - on Monday July 27 - and run for 10 weeks.

    The summer transfer window will run for 10 weeks from July 27 and close at 11pm on October 5. A domestic-only window for trades between the Premier League and EFL then runs from October 5 and closes on Friday October 16 at 5pm. Follow all the news and analysis on Sky Sports News and across Sky Sports' digital platforms.

    Super 6: Who makes play-offs? Who goes down?

    Super 6: Who makes play-offs? Who goes down?

    Do not miss your chance to land the £250,000 for a sixth time this season on Wednesday. Play for free, entries by 6pm.

    Around Sky