The main gossip today seems to centre on Villa and England midfielder Gareth Barry. Martin O'Neill has already said the club would allow Barry to leave if a 4th place club comes knocking but says the Villa skipper should be 'hurt' by Liverpool's refusal to pay last summers asking price. Another report says any team will have to pay at least £10million to take our prized asset from Villa Park.
MON said: 'The price obviously with a year left to run is a different issue. But by the same token he is an England international player, he has captained his country and he is still only 28 years old. He wouldn’t come cheaply even in this day and age.'
Nice to see the Barry saga is going to be back and played out in the press this summer. :o(
This is what I suspected, we mentioned a link to Manchester City youngster Stephen Ireland a few days back after he was linked to us amongst others. Mark Hughes has poured scorn on the link and says he will not be leaving the club. In a report in the Sun The Sun
Ireland has so far not agreed a new deal with City but it seems Hughes is determined to pay him what they need to to keep him. 'We want to get it done and dusted and give Stephen the assurance going into the new season that everything is sorted. We've recognised the progress he has made this season and would like to reward him for that.'
Meanwhile the The Daily Mail say that Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers and Chelsea are all after Manchester City striker Daniel Sturridge. The striker has rejected another contract offer and looks to be leaving on a free (well, almost, I think there is a small fee attached because of his age) this summer. Hughes said: 'We put in another offer but that was declined so we won't be going back. We've not got much headroom to negotiate and I'm disappointed.'
My information last January was that the player wanted to come to Villa Park and was more than willing to wait until the summer to do so. I expect him to sign, trust me!
Finally and again talk of Manchester City, this time of a Villa player moving to them. We covered it yesterday (Carew To Become A Citizen?) and the Mirror have the link today again claiming Hughes wants Carew after his interest in Blackburn Rovers striker Roque Santa Cruz is fading due to the price tag Rovers are putting on his head.
Apparently I also missed a snippet yesterday linking us with injury prone West Ham striker Dean Ashton. Good striker when on the pitch but surely he isn't on the pitch long enough to take the risk, especially as both John Carew and Emile Heskey pick up so many injuries?
Manager Tim Sherwood has spoken of his disappointment - and shouldered the blame - for today's one nil loss to Stoke City.
All the stats from Aston Villa (0) vs (1) Stoke, Villa Park, 3/10/15 Att: 33,189
Statistics, damn lies and Aston Villa..
Bit of a mix and match today from manager Tim Sherwood's pre Stoke press conference.
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