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Rumour Round-up


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By me:

What a pleasing change. A January transfer window with money in the pot and a guy people trust to spend it wisely. The media also seem to like this prospect with Villa being linked to new players almost every day. The latest rumours see paper links, "inside info" and some putting 2 and 2 together. Let's look at the latest rumours then.

Phil Bardsley:

The Manchester Untied right back was linked to us in the summer but with no bid apparent he moved on loan to Rangers. His loan deal has now expired with Bardsley not seeing much first team action after falling out with now former Rangers manager Paul Le Guen. Rumour has it that the youngster will join our ranks on a loan deal until the end of the season with an option to buy him in the summer. Rumour also has it that this will not happen just yet. The Daily Mirror report that it is a done deal but won't be confirmed until after our upcoming double header against Manchester United. I'm not quite sure why to be honest, he would be ineligible for the Premiership fixture and a clause could easily be put in meaning he couldn't play against them in the FA Cup. At any rate he is a young (21 years old I think) English right back hungry for Premiership football (he has turned down a loan move to Sunderland as he is in talks with a Premiership club) and if we have an option to buy him at the end of a loan it can't do us any harm to take a closer look.

Nicolae Dica:

The 26 year old Romanian is being heavily linked to a move to Villa by Romanian press. He has been the star of the Steaua Bucharest side which has won the league title two years running. He has also been excellent in European competition. With Romania now being an EU country a move is now possible. In fact he will be leaving Steaua Bucharest this month, the only issue is where to. The likes of Portsmouth, Ajax and a few Italian teams have been linked but we remain favourites with his home nation's press to seal the deal. £2.5m is the touted figure. This would seemingly be a bargain and the kind of signing we have been lacking in the last few years. Dica plays as an attacking midfielder or more frequently a forward and would provide the creative spark we need to start scoring more goals.

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink:

Linked by the Daily Mail. We all know who this guy is. A 35 year old who can't get into a struggling Charlton side. Don't rule this out though, MON said we need experience and that is one thing JFH has in abundance. He could perform a Sutton type role for us, but would definitely be a short term measure.

Well those are the more "official" links, here are a bundle of rumours for you.

Mohamed Aboutrika - an Egyptian midfielder linked to ourselves, Bolton, Pompey and Reading. Don't know anything about him to be honest so can't add anything more.

Abel Xavier - also a tenuous link to this guy, aging Boro defender. Not for me thanks, I'll take my chances with Bardsley.

Matthew Upson - apparently set to leave Birmingham and being chased by a number of Premiership clubs. Depends on the transfer fee really, wouldn't pay anything over £5m for him personally.

Collins John - Fulham have accepted a bid from an unnamed Premiership club for the striker. That links all 19 clubs but Watford are the favourites to secure his signature.

Ashley Young - And speaking of Watford, their crown jewel Ashley Young could be up for grabs. A bid of more than £5m will be needed to secure the services of the right winger but with a transfer war chest at his disposal MON might be willing to stump up the cash.

Shaun Wright-Phillips - speaking of right wingers, SWP has to be the most high profile one available. West Ham are the favourites to land him for £9.8m mainly due to the London factor but do not be surprised to see us make a cheeky bid for the Chelsea man.

Jermaine Defoe - probably the longest running link of the lot but it just won't die down. With rumours of Spurs bidding for Darren Bent also doing the rounds it could be that Jol doesn't see Defoe as part of his team.

Darren Bent - of course, we could bid for him ourselves! No link to him whatsoever, yet. But with Pardew coming out today saying that he will listen to offers I doubt it will be long before our name is thrown into the hat. A bid of £10m should be enough but a few posters on the message boards (namely me and Richard) have mooted possible swap deals involving cash plus Samuel and Hendrie.

And finally there is talk of Milan Baros moving on to Spain....or Reading.

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If we miss out on SWP then I'll find our usual "non-ambitous Villa" to have not been changed even though we've thankfully found a new owner. Lerner, himself, even though being American and not so Football/Soccer-savvy, could come to conclusion this is what this club needs...before strikers and defenders.

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Not for me I'm afraid.......Looking at his performances this season it is easy to see why.

But maybe we have been here before, where a player struggles for us and clicks else (( Crouch springs to mind)where and i have a hunch that is exactly what will happen again( with a small squad are we desperate to sell anyone?).I'm not sure what Milan's overall attitude at the club is like

and whether our manager is prepared to work with him and introduce new signings that will possibly bring the best out of him.It has been mooted in some quarters that realistically no matter who you bring in up front, he will struggle in this villa side...... we are slowly getting a reputation of a goal scorers graveyard.There have been umpteen examples of big players coming in and failing to make a mark up front......HAVE THEY ALL HAD BAD ATTITUDES OR ARE THEY GETTING FRUSTRATED PLAYING IN OUR TEAM.

My personal opinion is the problem source is partially elsewhere and has spread to the strikers.The two centre Halves imo are not experienced enough yet ( Laursen brilliant when fit) (Mellberg- good stopper, not much technique going forward, good pro) to be the aerial dominance we are looking for right now and as a result we tend to get too many players drawn to defensive duties and consequently we end up defending using too many players and defend too deep. This results in the offensive side of our game being starved of bodies.

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There you go again TRO we are agreeing nearly 100%

If you play 10 men behind the ball at home its very, very hard for strikers even highly talented ones to score goals, especially those who cost what seems to be small sums we have available

One of the major problems since Everton, has been the way we have conceded goals and mostly its coincided with younger players who most likely are tired, not physically but mentally because of having to be played when they should be rested in a side which we have to admit hasn't won that many matches in the last season and a half

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Yes, experienced players are what teams on our current form need, not youth, especially at the back. I always believe you build a solid base first and two reliable centre half's would be a good base. Then we need to sort the midfield, we have no RW'er, that must be addressed immediately. Then perhaps cover/competition for RB and DM.

We have 5 strikers and although I'd agree in the long term a top notch striker would be excellent I don't see it as a priority right now. I'm not sure if MON agrees, I think he wants to get a striker, I fear if he does he's falling into a trap so many of his predecessors have. A new striker alone will not make a difference unless MON has plans to revert to a 4-3-3 or play a direct game. We shall see.

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