Houllier Admits Scots Keeper Scouting
Villa boss Gerard Houllier has admitted that he did send staff to watch over Rangers goalkeeper Alan McGregor during his fine performance against Manchester United mid-week.
The press picked up on a little bit of info that did appear in the BBC Online live text feed, that Gary McAllister was at Ibrox to watch the latest "Battle of Britain" but when quizzed, would not disclose just what the purpose of the visit was. Since then the Birmingham Mail have reported that goalkeeping coach Rafa Gonzalez had also travelled, and so the rumour mill cranked into action.
Since then, le-Boss has now been asked the question, and responded in his typically relaxed style, admitting interest in the 28-year-old but reserving praise for Brad Friedel, whom Blackburn aside, has had yet another fantastic season so far.
"Yes we went to see him (McGregor) play," said Mr H.
"I'm very happy with Brad but I'm conscious he is 39 and I'd be silly not to look to the long term.
"Obviously, he didn't have a good game versus Blackburn but, since the start of the season, he's been spot on.
He then added, finally citing recognition that Brad Guzan does exist on this planet:
"He's (Friedel) got experience and I trust him. I think he's a good goalkeeper, been a good buy. Long term, we need to prepare for the future. I need to see the reserve goalkeeper (Brad Guzan) as well."
Meanwhile Rangers boss Walter Smith has suggested that there has been no official contact from Villa for the controversial keeper, whose name has been dragged through mud occaisionally thanks to international-squad drinking exploits, and a somewhat obvious gesture to TV cameras whilst benched for his drinking fun in 2009.
'Gary McAllister came to the game and now it's 'Aston Villa are interested in Allan McGregor',' said Smith.
"It's a nice link. But we've not heard anything from any club.
'It's still a bit early in the year to be speculating about transfers in January.'
With Houllier admitting interest, it`s certainly the most plausible rumour amongst some quite frankly dreadful ones! What do you make of it?