Villa Links In AND Out
The gossip has accelerated, although not to the most stunning of targets, which is probably good news as we'll end up with a stunner that the papers haven't even thought of?
According to several reports Villa will sign Manchester United right-back Phil Bardsley AFTER the two games in a week v the Reds (Villa face Man Utd in the FA Cup this Sunday and in the Premiership next Saturday, both at Old Trafford). The reports yesterday suggested a Premiership club had scuppered the proposed loan move to Sunderland for the defender. It is suggested we'll take him for the rest of the season with a permanent deal sealed in the summer.
The Guardian are claiming that Milan Baros could move to Spanish side Real Sociedad for around £4million. I'm sure they were linked last season as well? Shame to sell this player on at a loss, but hey ho if you read the Daily Mail the price quoted is £6million and that sounds more reasonable. The report also suggests we will then move for Liverpool's Craig Bellamy. I heard this link a while back but my information is that Liverpool won't be selling unless they can get a replacement, hence the log jam starts. Bellamy would certainly be an interesting one, the sort of aggressive player that maybe we are missing, but he does spend a fair amount of time on the treatment table. A fully fit, nasty snarling Bellamy might do the business but he can also cause disharmony in the dressing room if other reports are to be believed.
I did also hear a whisper that we might be into swapping with Spurs, I think it went something along the lines of Gareth Barry for Danny Murphy and a striker, so I'd guess Robbie Keane + cash. I'd dismiss this out of hand, we surely can't afford to lose our captain marvel?!
Sky Sports also said yesterday that Villa are moving for Romanian Nicolae Dica. The 26-year-old forward plays for Steaua Bucharest. Former Chelsea player Dan Petrescu who manages Unirea Urziceni told Gazeta Sporturilor, of which I am a regular subscriber!!! 'I know their manager, Martin O'Neill, very well. He needs a creative player. I saw their match against Chelsea on Tuesday and I realised that he is right. Dica would have his place there, I'm sure, but it all depends on how hard he wants to play.'
This one I also don't believe unless we really are looking for short term fixes as the Daily Mail say we will bid for Charlton's Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink. As said, a short term fix maybe, the former Chelsea and Middlesbrough striker was awesome in his hey day, but this is not the stage of a career we should be looking at buying players in surely!?
Meanwhile Glen Roeder has been talking about James Milner and it certainly sounds that he is going nowhere: 'He is such a hard-working lad, one of the best pros I have worked with. I have never known James Milner to finish the morning's training without doing extra. I have seen James many times in training score goals like he did on Monday. After the hard work he has put in on the training ground, he deserved that goal. Five, six seven goals a season - he scored his first on Monday, there are still enough games to do that. He has got the potential to do that and it would be nice to have players in other positions chipping in with important goals, rather than just relying on the strikers.'