Aston Villa could still add to the five new arrivals they recruited over the summer despite the transfer window closing on Tuesday night.
Emiliano Martinez and Emiliano Buendia have both travelled to Argentina to represent their country after coming to a compromise with Villa, prompting speculation that the club could use the free agent market to cover the loss of two important players.
Both will have to self isolate back in the UK for a 10-day period upon their return after travelling to a red list country, in accordance with current Covid-19 protocols.
Despite the Premier League advising their clubs against allowing players to travel to red list countries during the September international break, Villa opted to allow both Martinez and Buendia to make the journey to South America.
Argentina visit Venezuela for their first World Cup qualifying game today, Friday, September 3, before travelling to Brazil to play a second match on September 5.
In a statement released by Villa last week, Martinez and Buendia both agreed to only play Argentina’s first two qualifiers and not the third, against Bolivia.
These arrangements mean Martínez and Buendía will only miss the Premier League match with Chelsea before being available for the visit of Everton on September 18.
However, Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni has tonight suggested he will not be following Villa’s plans.
He said: “We gave the list for the three matches and there’s no doubt about it. The players are here for the three matches.”
Villa would be without both of their players for Premier League games against Chelsea and Everton and a trip to Stamford Bridge in the Carabao Cup if they stay in South America for all three games.
However, former Manchester City midfielder and pundit Danny Mills doesn’t think Villa will look to recruit a replacement goalkeeper.
He told Football Insider : “It’s odd that this hasn’t been pre-agreed. That’s what I find strange about it.
“I think they’ll just make do with what they’ve got. It’s not worth bringing somebody in for what is effectively two games. That would be pretty pointless, in my opinion.
“It’s one of those where you don’t like it but you’ve got to suck it up for those games.
“Again, with a goalkeeper, you’re hoping for two games it won’t be a huge problem and you will be able to deal with it relatively easily.”