Villa Star Linked With Shock Exit?
Here we go, as we get closer and closer to the January transfer window the papers are going to get hotter and hotter with rumours!
The Sunday papers have two juicy rumours today, the first I like. The News Of The World claim - and I must admit isn't exactly rocket science to come up with this story - that Martin O'Neill wants to take Scott Carson on a permanent deal from Liverpool. The price mentioned is £10million. Rafa Benitez had allowed the England U21 keeper to go out on loan as his first team chances were limited but had said he didn't want to sell him. However Carson has been an ever present for Villa and has since been called up into the main England squad.
Carson has hinted before that he would be open to a permanent deal and obviously wouldn't want to return to Anfield next year to just sit on the bench again as he is hot on the heals of the hapless Spurs keeper Paul Robinson and the ageing David James for the England No 1 shirt.
The second rumour? Well, it is in The People so lets hope it is just plucked from nowhere, but I don't like it one bit!
They claim, in a story by Alan Nixon, that Chelsea are after Villa skipper Gareth Barry.
Apparently Avram Grant is after the man who replaced Frank Lampard in the England team. The price mentioned is £15million.
Now fair enough, this is all paper talk but the worry is that Frank Lampard has refused to sign a new contract with the London outfit and it is thought he might be on his way to sunny Spain. Who better to replace him than the quality that is Gareth Barry?
The People further suggest that Steve Sidwell or Shaun Wright-Phillips might be offered as part payment.
With claret and blue tinted spectacles on, I'd say never in a million years but if you were Gareth Barry, what would you do?
He is 26 years old and approaching the peak of his game, he wants to play at the highest level he can and that includes the champions league. He joined us in 1997 and hasn't once been close to winning anything with the club. He was close to going last year before the arrival of Martin O'Neill and the money of Randy Lerner. I remember his quotes before the summer transfer window saying he was excited at the prospect of top signings coming to Villa to help push Villa upwards. The same summer we saw Nigel Reo-Coker, Marlon Harewood and Mustapha Work Permit bought. Does that match his ambitions?
Gulp. I hope so.
I'd hate to see Barry go, he has been my favourite player for a good few years because when the chips are down and players go missing on the pitch, he rolls up his sleeves and gets stuck in. He is a quality player and we should build the team around him. Trouble is money talks and Chelsea money talks louder than most. If they did approach we should have SWP, Sidwell AND some money!
Might be time for the rumours thread at the top of the page soon if this gossip is the start of things to come!