Writer: J P Fear
Date:Thursday January 5 2006
Mark Delaney has seen his transfer request rejected.
Delaney put in a written transfer request last month, partly to put pressure on Villa to offer him a new contract, and said that although he doesn't want to leave Villa, he has to look after his long term future.
Now the club have apparently told suitors that he isn't on the transfer list but every player has his price. The headlines in the Mail suggest other clubs will now have to 'put up or shut up' amidst rumours that Portsmouth and Middlesbrough are interested in the versatile midfielder. His former club Cardiff and Wales second team (!) Blackburn Rovers have also been linked.
Villa have an option on Delaney to extend his contract by another year but don't have to decide until March. It is thought that Villa are looking to assess his fitness before deciding but Delaney feels that he is being forced out. He has produced several man of the match performances in the centre of defence and has kept his position there at the expense of Liam Ridgewell following the return of Olof Mellberg.
With our squad stretched and the defence threadbare, it would surely make sense to settle the player down with a new contract? He has been at Villa for seven years and has been a great servant to the club. Fans have, on several occasions, sung 'sign him up' and Delaney has been quoted as saying 'I've always said that I wanted to stay at Villa and the fans would have read and seen that statement from me. I again will say I don't want to go. I want to stay. I've settled here and hopefully what I've done over the last few games has been taken note of by the people who need to take note.'
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Date:Thursday January 5 2006
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