‘Someone better’ Bristol City boss Lee Johnson has this message after Aston Villa transfer links
Bristol City boss Lee Johnson has claimed that the club have no intention of selling player of the season Adam Webster.
The 24-year-old has only been at Ashton Gate for one season following a £3.5m transfer from Ipswich last summer.
Aston Villa are one of a number of top flight clubs that have been linked with a move for the central defender.
A fee of £12m has been suggested in the national press, something which had concerned Robins fans across social media.
Johnson has now vehemently denied that the club have any sort of release clause in his contract and remains confident he will be a City player next season.
“I think the first port of call is that we understand the speculation because he’s a fantastic player,” he told our sister title BristolLive.
“Our stance is that we don’t want to lose Adam Webster. You can never say never in football. But if you look at the values for other players flying around that sort of figure would be vastly undervaluing him from where I would see it.
“But at the same time I don’t even want to talk about our best players leaving.”
The Robins have already cashed in on defensive talent this summer, with Lloyd Kelly joining Bournemouth for a reported £13m. But that transfer, according to Johnson, is no indication of their willingness to part with their top talents.
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“It was a bit different with Lloyd Kelly because it was a brilliant opportunity for him, it was a good transfer fee for us and it was another win that could reinvested back into the academy and various areas of the football club,” Johnson added.
“And that was a player that towards the back-end of the season wasn’t in the starting XI. We’re certainly looking to build on our season last year and improve.
“We’ve got to make these wise decisions and the only reason we would entertain looking at selling someone like Adam Webster is because we believe that there is someone better that we can get.
“And I think that was a good example what we did with Flint and Webster, when Flinty went to Middlesbrough.”
Villa boss Dean Smith continues to chase defensive reinforcements this summer, despite the permanent return of Kortney Hause.
Axel Tuanzebe is back at Manchester United, while Tyrone Mings is – at least for the time being – still at parent club Bournemouth.
Villa also released Alan Hutton, Ritchie De Laet and Micah Richards, so their back-line is currently rather thin.