Writer: J P Fear
Date:Friday January 18 2008
Plenty of transfer talk today, sadly much of it about players being linked with exits which in my ever so humble opinion (WHAT?) would be total madness at this time of year and with the size of our squad taken into consideration. It would be especially strange after Martin O'Neill said he didn't want to let any players go due to the fact we don't have enough numbers in the squad.
Remember this is all just gossip until it happens, don't shoot the messenger!
One report suggests that Juventus want to sign Olof Mellberg now and not in the summer. The Swedish international can leave on a free in the summer and can (or have if you believe some reports) talk to interested clubs to sign a pre-contract now. The up side of Villa letting him go now is they could command a fee, the downside is he has been filling in for the right-back position and we then only have Craig Gardner as cover unless we buy a right-back, as MON suggested he would do following Villa's failure to get one in the summer. One report says Juventus have told Villa to name their price, another says that Claudio Ranieri hasn't much money to spend but has been given the green light to spend £2m on Ollie.
The Express & Star say that Blues have been given the go ahead to talk to Villa defender Gary Cahill. There are several reports and the price they seem to agree on is around £4million with some suggesting there would be a further £1million worth of add ons. Alex McLeish told the Express & Star: 'We have had a chat with Martin at Villa. It's in their hands, there is a chance, but it's no more than that at the moment. We have been happy to do a cash deal, I'm not sure what the player's thoughts on it are.' It would be total madness selling him and the single most disappointing thing MON will have done since his arrival as Cahill is young, learning and a potential rock at that back. Loan him fine, but why sell him, do we really need the money?
Martin O'Neill says Wilfred Bouma is going nowhere after being linked with a return to PSV Eindhoven. Press in Holland say PSV are looking at Bouma and Andre Ooijer (Blackburn Rovers) but MON told the Birmingham Mail, 'We have an option for another year and I will speak to Wilfred about that. There are no worries with that one,' The option has to be taken up before the end of April. I can't for the life of me understand why these guys haven't had their futures sorted and contracts extended if they are still in the managers plans?
The Sun claim that Spurs striker Jermain Defoe will turn down advances from Aston Villa and Portsmouth in order to join Newcastle United. This I doubt, he is a London lad who, by the soudns of things, would rather stay in London, if he has to move then Villa is idea as it is only an short (ish) journey away.
The Mirror meanwhile would have you believe that Villa are about to seal the deal for Defoe in a £10million move after the player held talks with Martin O'Neill. The paper follow up claims in the Birmingham Post yesterday that Defoe has been to Villa's training ground Bodymoor Heath and go further claiming he has been promised a regular starting place in the team as MON is adamant (used to like Adam and the Ants. 'That musics lost its taste why don't you try another flavour, ant music oh oh oh oh...I'll get my coat) that he won't let youngster Gabby Agbonlahor burn out. The deal, according to the paper, is four-and-half years for £47,000 a week. It would do I suppose.
The Sun claim that Aston Villa are after £6 million-rated fullback Nedum Onuoha from Manchester City.
The Daily Telegraph meanwhile has Spurs fullback Pascal Chimbonda linked to us again. They also say we are eyeing up Steaua Bucharest's defender Dorin Goian.
Villa's young Swedish striker Tobias Mikaelsson has joined Port Vale Football Club on loan and joins up with Villa's Australian midfielder Chris Herd.
And that is your lot for now. What do you reckon, any gems there?
Date:Friday January 18 2008
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