Date:Monday October 10 2005
So, earlier in the Villa Times I was quoting DOL saying that Vassell wasn't for sale. His very words were: 'We are looking for another striker but Darius is still part of my plans, especially when fit. If we can get another striker in, we'll have four strikers and that means we'll have real competition for places.'
Now we find out the player, who hasn't featured in any of the pre-season games in Sweden, has flown back after the clubs had reportedly agreed a fee of around £2.5million.
Sounds way too cheap to me for an England international, but then again, his contract runs out next summer and he has obviously had a good offer to line his pockets. Vassell, 25, was never more than potential for Villa and suffered greatly from injuries. His current tally is 3 goals in 21 games but; you still have to ask why Villa have yet again got in a position where a players contract runs short and we have to sell him for a low fee.
Now, the flip side of that is we may now go for and get Baros for around £7million. He is 23, exciting and has a great deal of improving that he can do, he isn't at the peak of his potential. However, you have to question why Villa - with such a small squad (copyright DOL) - have a one in, one out policy?
At the moment - if this deal goes through, we will be 5 out, 4 in. Is that a decent sign of intent for next season?
DOL has said 'Darius was asked to go back to England and there was no reason to stop him. It all happened very quickly yesterday and we were able to get him on a flight. He's gone back to have a medical and sign for Manchester City. I can't say at the moment what the exact fee is, but I think it's a fee that suits Aston Villa. It's not fair to say that I had to sell Darius to bring in money. That would be totally unfair on the club. This is just a good deal. I've got a budget where I have to try and get players in, but that's nothing to do with the Darius deal. He had a year left on his contract, we've been offered good money by Manchester City, so it suits everybody all round as it stands.'
You also have to ask, if Villa are genuinely chasing Distin, why aren't we doing some sort of swap + cash deal?
Never a clear picture at our club is it? Sure left me baffled over the years, the sooner this lot are driven out of town, the better for Villa and the better for us.
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