Aston Villa boss Dean Smith has revealed that Tom Heaton, Neil Taylor and Ahmed Elmohamady will sit down to discuss their respective futures with sporting director Johan Lange.
The veteran full-backs are both out of contract this summer and are set to leave as things stand, while Heaton has two years remaining on his current deal.
However, having been out of action with a long-term injury, the 34-year-old has seen Emiliano Martinez arrive at Villa Park during that time to cement his place between the posts, thus raising question marks over his playing time moving forward.
Given the quality of the England shot-stopper, there is no doubt that he could be a starter elsewhere, but time will tell if Villa and Smith can convince him to remain and push Martinez for a starting berth.
“They will be having a discussion with the sporting director soon,” he said, as reported by BirminghamLive. “Obviously, with Tom Heaton, it’s the three whose contracts are running out at the moment so they’ll want to know what their futures are and the club will be in a position to (announce) that soon.”
While Heaton has yet to make an appearance for the first team as of yet this season due to that injury, both Taylor and Elmohamady have found playing time hard to come by given the form of Matt Targett and Matty Cash.
Taylor, 32, has made just four appearances, while Elmo has featured on 14 occasions, largely during Cash’s spell on the sidelines due to injury.
In turn, while Villa and Smith need squad depth moving forward to continue to compete and make progress, it remains to be seen if the two veterans are part of their plans or if they will look elsewhere to fill those roles with a longer-term plan in mind.
Based on the comments from the Villa boss above though, we should be hearing updates in the coming weeks and months.