Steve Bruce has been hit by a cash freeze at Aston Villa which means he must sell players before he can buy.

Bruce will have to revamp his Championship squad on a limited budget this summer as part of a Football League clampdown on spending.

The Villa manager held talks with director of football Steve Round and Keith Wyness, the chief executive, on Thursday over the club’s summer strategy and was informed that he can only sign players on loan unless he raises funds himself.

Telegraph Sport understands Bruce wants to sign at least five new players, after the club finished in a disappointing 13th place, but is now reassessing his plans.

Bruce will look to sell players including Jordan Amavi, Carles Gil, Jordan Veretout, Tommy Elphick and Aaron Tshibola in an attempt to generate money for transfers. Fiorentina have already sealed a £2.5million deal for midfielder Carlos Sanchez, who spent the season on loan there.