Writer: J P Fear
Date:Saturday June 23 2007
The Birmingham Evening Mail had a report yesterday suggesting Northern Ireland midfielder Steven Davis has held talks with Martin O'Neill and wants to know what their valuation of him is. O'Neill has been at pains to say that players such as Davis aren't on the transfer list but that he wouldn't stand in the way of any player who wanted to leave.
Not sure how Davis would have held talks with Martin O'Neill though, he isn't back from holiday until next week and apparently that is when the main activity will start as he would like to bring in new faces before the players start pre-season training on July 4. And according to the different papers, these are some of the faces we might be seeing:
Loads of different reports on goalkeeper links. So far we have England Under-21 and Liverpool keeper Scott Carson for £3.5m but Rafa wants to keep him and have him fight for his place in the team. Bolton's Jussi Jaakelainen has been linked but his agent says he will see out his contract with Bolton. Celtic's Polish star Artur Boruc was linked but O'Neill recently lambasted the link saying he isn't after any of their players. We are also linked to Hull keeper and former Villan Boaz Myhill.
Apparently Aaron Hughes will shortly be off to Fulham for around £1million. The versatile former Newcastle United defender has been strongly linked to his former Northern Ireland boss who is now manager at Craven Cottage.
Eric Djemba-Djemba has apparently been made a free agent and is trying to find himself a new club.
The Mail say that Chris Sutton is still deciding about his future.
Here we go again, the Shaun Wright Phillips link has returned! Apparently talksport the other day were all but naming a right winger who was coming to Villa. Some reports are suggesting that Villa will put in a £10million bid for the England and Chelsea winger as well as tying up the transfer of West Ham captain Nigel Reo-Coker for around £8million.
Another report, this time in the Evening Echo is suggesting Villa and West Ham are 'poles apart' in the valuation of Reo-Coker with Villa offering around £7million and the Hammers wanting over £10million.
Sky Sports have quoted West Ham striker Marlon Harewood's agent as saying Fulham, Birmingham, Portsmouth and Aston Villa are all interested in the player. McGuire said to Sky: 'There are four Premier League clubs who have expressed an interest in signing Marlon. Birmingham have already seen one bid turned down by West Ham for Marlon. Fulham, Portsmouth and Aston Villa are also keeping tabs on the situation. Marlon is keen to secure his future and we are hopeful of sorting a deal out.' Fair enough, he scored 16 goals the season before last (a hattrick against us wasn't there?) but this is one race I'd not be sad to see us lose!
Villarreal say that they have had no offers for their former Manchester United striker Diego Forlan. The Spanish club also say that the 28-year-old has already said he is happy to stay where he is despite links to Aston Villa, Sunderland, Liverpool and Valencia. The Uruguay player has a £15million buy out clause so any team who does want him would have to pay that. Their director told AS 'Forlan's situation is very clear. He has told us that he does not want to leave and that he is happy here. Besides, our desire is that he stays with us.' Adding: 'We are conscious, however, that he has a buy-out clause and if somebody agrees to meet that then he could go.'
The Sun are claiming that Martin O'Neill is set to gazzump Roy Keane and steal Preston and England striker David Nugent from under Sunderland's noses. According to the report Villa have been given permission to talk to the 22-year-old who is valued at around £6million.
Some reports are suggesting that Big Sam at Newcastle has beaten off competition from Villa and Spurs for the transfer of Manchester United striker Alan Smith.
Date:Saturday June 23 2007
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