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Friday's weekly round-up


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by BOF

It's that time of the week where we digest the slim pickings of gossip that may or may not have any truth in them.

Last Saturday saw us linked with Dutch international midfielder Nigel de Jong. His club allegedly wanted to offload him as he is a high wage earner (~£40k) but there have since been articles saying that we have been 'snubbed'. Read into that what you will.

Sunday had a familiar ring to it as the papers once again linked us to Craig Bellamy & Wesley Sneijder. It's fairly clear to all concerned that Bellamy is going somewhere this summer. If the money is right (no more than £8m) then I'd reluctantly welcome him to Villa Park, but when we were first linked to him the figures being bandied around were £10-£12m which is way OTT IMHO. Sneijder on the other hand IS wanted by his current club. Valencia wanted him but then for whatever reason that didn't go through. We've always allegedly been in for him but there have been no noises from within B6 about it. This one will likely run and run until Sneijder either moves, or err doesn't.

Monday was a quiet day transferwise, with the papers more interested in the nationality of local lad Gabby Agbonlahor. While Pearce was getting over the fact that Gabby clearly wasn't a willing England U21 player, Alex McLeish was telling us that after checking Gabby's birth cert it actually read Gabby McBonlahor. Who will he eventually represent ? Your guess is as good as mine. Nigeria is his third option.

Tuesday had us linked with West Bromwich Albion's highly-rated centreback Curtis Davies. I would be amazed if we didn't end up with at least 1 WBA player in our squad come August after their failed promotion push. Which player it will be is anyone's guess. With Ridgewell being mooted for a move away and Laursen's fitness always in question, it's not inconceivable that WBA's best centreback could be the likeliest option. It might take a bid upwards of £8m to secure him though !

Sky Sports also reported that we were lining up deals to bring in two Austrian 16 year olds. Andreas Weinann, a striker from Rapid Vienna, and Dominic Hoffbaur, a winger from Sturm Graz. The deals were said to have been 'progressing'.

Wednesday saw the Alan Smith link rear it's head again as he demanded assurances over his Man United future. The papers (maybe rightly) put 2 + 2 together after we were allegedly in for the striker in January. Wednesday is also the day Hamburg allegedly told Nigel de Jong that he would not be quitting the Bundesliga for a move to the Premiership this summer. Bit of a non-story that one, as everyone has their price if we were so inclined.

Thursday saw the continued speculation over Alan Smith and also a new name on the horizon - promising 20 year old Dutch leftback/left winger Royston Drenthe currently plying his trade at Feyenoord and impressing everyone with some marauding performances in the U21 tournament. Whether or not we are actually in for him, his performances have meant that it is likely to be a bidding war for his services for whoever does buy him.

Friday saw nothing new except the Sun saying Alan Smith could be on his way, with us as possible suitors, and another mention of Martin's apparent keenness on Royston Drenthe.

So in summary, not a sausage from the club. All official channels have remained incredibly tight-lipped, and the rags (and be extension us the fans) have had to make it up and best-guess who will be joining the Villa Park revolution.

As and when anyone DOES sign, you will hear about it here.

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