Finn Azaz turns down new West Brom contract, set to join Aston Villa
West Brom midfielder Finn Azaz has turned down a new contract at the club in favour of a move to Midlands rivals Aston Villa, according to the Express and Star.
Football Insider recently reported that Villa had agreed to sign the 20-year-old this summer, with a move set to be completed soon after reaching an agreement with the Albion academy graduate.
However, while backing up these version of events, the Express and Star claim Azaz actually “turned down a new deal with the Baggies in favour of moving to Villa”.
It will be interesting to hear the finer details behind Azaz’s decision to reject a new deal at Albion in favour of making the switch to Midlands rivals Villa.
The Birmingham-born midfielder played a key role in Cheltenham Town’s League Two success last season that saw them promoted to League One, and that loan spell, allied to Albion’s Premier League relegation, will have surely bolstered his chances of breaking into the senior side.
Furthermore, Albion’s midfield options were decimated at the start of the summer as Conor Gallagher, Okay Yokuslu and Ainsley Maitland-Niles all returned to their parent clubs following the conclusion of their own loan contracts.
That left just Romaine Sawyers and Jake Livermore as the only senior midfield options, though Alex Mowatt joined at the start of July after leaving Barnsley.
However, there still looks to be room for Azaz to force his way into the squad, and then it would be up to him to prove why he deserves sustained opportunities.
But, he now looks set for a move to Villa, and the Express and Star report includes the mention that he will be loaned to Newport County.
It begs the question – did Albion offer a paltry contract proposal to Azaz? Or are his motives sporting, in that he sees a higher ceiling at Villa and believes he can develop quicker there?
We await to hear the reasons for his departure, but for now, Albion supporters will have to wallow in the inevitable departure of another academy graduate who was tipped for big things.
In other West Brom news, Albion have tabled an offer to this Premier League midfielder who has an FA Cup winners medal.