Sunday 18 August 2019

Villa eye £25m Abraham if they earn promotion

Aston Villa's Tammy Abraham. Photo: Matthew Childs/Action Images via Reuters
Aston Villa's Tammy Abraham. Photo: Matthew Childs/Action Images via Reuters

John Percy

Aston Villa will move to sign Chelsea loanee Tammy Abraham in a £25  million deal if they secure promotion. Abraham took Villa a step towards another Championship play-off final with his 26th goal of the season in Saturday's 2-1 first leg victory.

The England international's penalty gave Villa a slender lead heading into tomorrow's second leg after a dramatic final 15 minutes, during which West Bromwich Albion's Dwight Gayle was sent off.

Abraham is setting his sights on more goals this season as he aims to fire Villa back into the Premier League after a three-year exile.

"The aim is 30 goals. It has been a fantastic season, everyone has supported me," he said.

West Brom will go into the second leg with a burning sense of injustice.

Albion were in control for 70 minutes and led through Gayle's ruthless finish, but Villa substitute Conor Hourihane equalised in the 75th minute. Four minutes later captain Jack Grealish was fouled by Kieran Gibbs for the crucial spot-kick, with West Brom furious after reviewing replays. Albion insist Grealish dived and the Football Association will read referee Graham Scott's report before deciding if retrospective action is needed.

Gayle's dismissal two minutes from time was a bigger blow, with the second booking for a lunge on Villa goalkeeper Jed Steer. After a previous ban, the Newcastle loanee will miss the play-off final at Wembley if Albion get there. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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