Date published: Tuesday 28th July 2020 10:47
Aston Villa have axed Jesus Garcia Pitarch as their sporting director, according to widespread reports.
PA news agency understand Pitarch has left the club, while Sky Sports state the 56-year-old has been “sacked”.
The BBC claimed Pitarch’s “position was under scrutiny” after his recent record in the transfer market and continued a “difference of opinion” with chief executive Christian Purslow led to his departure.
The Spaniard joined the club on October 10 2018, the same day Dean Smith was appointed head coach.
It was heralded as the start of a new era for the Villa Park outfit by chief executive Purslow and promotion was won to the Premier League via the play-offs in May 2019.
Last summer saw a number of arrivals, with more than £140million spent, but only a final-day draw at West Ham saw Smith’s side stay up by a point in 17th position.
Sky claim Dean Smith’s future as Villa manager is 100 per cent secure after leading his side to safety courtesy of a fine win over Arsenal and draw at West Ham.
Instead Pitarch, commonly known as Suso, has paid the price for a tough first season back in the Premier League. Ultimately the £22m deal for Wesley from Club Brugge and £20m-plus spent on Marvelous Nakamba and Mbwana Samatta were his undoing.
He did though instigate deals for Matt Targett and Trezeguet, who scored three goals in the final few games to help keep Villa in the Premier League.
Smith though was largely responsible for the signing of Tyrone Mings and Tom Heaton and he will be backed with more money for new players in summer transfer window.
READ MORE: Portuguese media claims Villa to axe Smith; appoint former Benfica boss