Garde plots January overhaul

LONDON • Buoyed by Aston Villa's willingness to back him with funds in the transfer window, manager Remi Garde has told his underperforming players to get on board with his methods or leave the club next month.

Garde flew out to discuss Villa's future with owner Randy Lerner this week, and chief executive Tom Fox, who accompanied the Frenchman, said players would be bought next month if the manager felt he needed to strengthen the side.

With the club six points adrift at the bottom of the Premier League table, Garde has identified the players he wants to offload. He has also opened the way for Charles N'Zogbia and Gabriel Agbonlahor to leave.

Garde questioned N'Zogbia's commitment after becoming the latest Villa manager to lose patience with the winger.

The manager has also made it clear that any player who does not buy into his plans should seek a transfer in the January window.

Villa are understood to be willing to consider offers for Agbonlahor, while N'Zogbia could also leave as his contract is entering its final six months.

The 29-year-old is expected to miss a reunion with his former club Newcastle United today, after losing his place in Garde's plans.

"Charles could have given more than he has given to the team in the first two or three weeks since I came," Garde said.

"He is ending his contract soon. I am not saying Charles is a bad person. He is a good player but sometimes it doesn't work between players and clubs, players and managers."

Garde, though, insists he wants his players to be fully committed once the transfer window closes.

"Every player has the possibility twice in the year to come to the manager and say, 'I don't feel you trust me, I don't feel well any more'," he said.

THE TIMES, LONDON, REUTERS

NEWCASTLE V ASTON VILLA

Singtel TV Ch102 & StarHub Ch227, tomorrow, 1.30am

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 19, 2015, with the headline 'Garde plots January overhaul'. Print Edition | Subscribe