Jesus Garcia Pitarch to leave Aston Villa sporting director role

Jesus Garcia Pitarch is to leave his role as Aston Villa’s sporting director, the PA news agency understands.

The Spaniard joined the club on October 10 2018, the same day Dean Smith was appointed head coach.

It was heralded as the start of a new era for the Villa Park outfit by chief executive Christian Purslow and promotion was won to the Premier League via the play-offs in May 2019.

Last summer saw a number of arrivals, with more than £120million spent, but only a final-day draw at West Ham saw Smith’s side stay up by a point in 17th position.

The sporting director’s transfers included forward Wesley from Club Brugge for £22million, while £11.5million was spent on left-back Matt Targett from Southampton.

Pitarch, commonly known as Suso, has now paid the price for a tough first season back in the Premier League for Villa and the club will look to improve their recruitment strategy ahead of the 2020-21 campaign.