Aston Villa have axed seven members of staff in a mass clear-out, according to the Daily Mail.

Among the casualties were Chief European Scout Ian Atkins and loan manager Tommy Mooney.

First-team boss Steve Bruce missed out on several transfer targets during the summer and had reportedly disagreed with Atkins over the type of player that was required. Atkins was rumoured to have been keen on bringing in young players from abroad whereas Bruce was keen to recruit experienced and battle-hardened players.

Three scouts have also been ousted and scout coordinators John Harrower and Mark Britland have also been relieved of their duties.

There could also be another departure in the coming weeks as there is a question mark over the future of sports psychologist Tom Bates.

The clear-out is thought to be as part of a plan to move in a new direction after a difficult summer and slow start to the campaign. The Daily Mail claim that new owners Naseef Sawiris and Wes Edens are set to appoint a new Sporting Director, with Leicester City’s Head of Recruitment Eduardo Macia reportedly in the frame.

The seven axed members of staff follow former Head of Domestic Scouting Tony Coton and ex-Director of Football Steve Round out of the exit door after their departures were confirmed in the summer.

Villa’s first game without a full backroom staff will be on Saturday, when Sheffield Wednesday visit the Midlands. The Yorkshire side trail Steve Bruce’s side by two points and sit 13th in the Championship table after their defeat to Nottingham Forest last night.