Writer: J P Fear
Date:Wednesday May 20 2009
Funny old world, we were only speculating on Vital Villa yesterday that after the change in management at Juventus Villa might go back for Olof Mellberg and today the Birmingham Mail are suggesting a 'sensational swoop' for the bearded wonder! The report in the Birmingham Mail says Martin O'Neill is keen to bring the 31-year-old back to Villa who left last summer after 7 fab years with Villa. Mellberg has 2 years left on his deal at Juventus but with the tinkerman Claudio Ranieri sacked the new coach might have other ideas and obviously we have a massive gap to fill now that Martin Laursen has retired.
The Sun claims that Blackburn striker Roque Santa Cruz will move to Manchester City and Daniel Sturridge will be moving the other way. That would be a strange one because he is out of contract this summer - albeit for a small fee due to the rules on age I believe - and has been strongly linked to Villa who he supported as a kid.
Middlesbrough midfielder Stewart Downing, linked with Spurs, Villa and Liverpool, is set to be sidelined for 6 months following the injury he picked up v Villa last weekend thus ruining his chance of an imminent move.
The Times says Villa will offer Gareth Barry wages of £75 000 a week (how can people be expected to live on such low wages, this is tantamount to slavery really) in order to get him to sign a new contract. Having blocked his move to Liverpool last season - or should that read having seen his dream move to Liverpool scuppered when the Anfield lot wouldn't stump up a reasonable and set price - Villa are hoping to stave off interest once again by securing his future long term. He would also be offered a testimonial according to the report. Barry has said all season - and been true to his word - he'll not speak to anyone about a new contract or a move until the summer. Expect plenty of press speculation once the season finishes this Sunday. One thing is for sure, Villa need to resolve the situation very very early on, if he is going, then let him go, if he is staying then superb, lets move forward and build!
Talking about speculation...! There are reports today that.... oh here we go again... Spurs want Gareth Barry. Harry Redknapp tried to grab Barry for Portsmouth a few years ago and reports today suggest he wants him again. Vital Spurs also cover the story: www.spurs.vitalfootball.co.uk and agree with my thinking, Liverpool are in the box seat and if he can't move there or another top four club, he'll no doubt stay put in the hopes that MON takes the Europa League a bit more seriously this time around.
Date:Wednesday May 20 2009
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