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Villa under no pressure to sell in January, insists Smith

Dean Smith has insisted Aston Villa do not need to sell players in January, claiming instead that they have a “healthy list” of targets.

A report this week suggested Villa need to cash in on some of their star men next year in order to comply with Financial Fair Play regulations.

However, Smith denied the club are under pressure to sell and has held talks with chief executive Christian Purslow about adding to his squad.

“We’re looking at targets all the time,” said the Villa boss. “I have regular meetings with Christian Purslow and Suso, the sporting director, and we’ve got a very healthy list of players who are possibilities.

“There may possibly be outs – I don’t know. I’m not looking for any players to go at all and we’re not under any pressure to sell, contrary to popular belief.

“We also haven’t got any clauses in contracts that people can buy for a certain price. We’ve got two very wealthy owners who want to move this club forward, and to do that you keep your best players and add to that.”

Villa host Southampton on Saturday looking for a first win in five league matches to climb away from the relegation zone and leave the visitors in it.

“We’ve come through a tough fixture list and now we’re coming up against teams that are in and around us,” added Smith at his pre-match press conference.

“I said to the players at the start of the season that Villa Park is massive for us, the results and the performances that we get there.

“Our supporters have been fantastic and with the exception of Leicester City, nobody has had an easy ride at Villa Park.

“If we win tomorrow, the world will look a different place.

“The table can look very different but it’s up to us to perform and get the fans on our side and cheering for us because they’ve been our 12th man.

“Southampton have won a few games on the spin and that’s taken them up to level on points with us before they lost the last couple of games.

“They’ve had a rollercoaster ride, much like ourselves.”