Villa the Busiest and Best Team in the Transfer Window?

February 1, 2011 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Transfer News 

There are so many ways to look at the recent ridiculous dealings in the transfer window it is hard to decide on who comes out best but surely Villa, having been the busiest team with 4 incomings and 4 outgoings, are up there. In January Gerard Houllier managed to sign a young right-back, already being tipped for a senior England call-up, two vastly experienced international midfielders with age still on their side, and one of the league’s most proven goalscorers of the last decade. Well done Gerard! The potential £24m price tag for Darren Bent seemed a little ludicrous but in the context of what went on yesterday we could get done for robbery! Jean Makoun was cheaper than first thought it seems with Gerard Houllier stating that he folked out just £5m for the Cameroonian. Michael Bradley joined on loan yesterday and is highly rated in his native America having played 50 senior international caps at just 23. He joined on loan along with Tottenham full-back Kyle Walker, whose first 3 games have given much encouragement to the Villa fans, not least due to a fantastic solo effort on his debut. Add to these signings the significant wage bill slashing due to departures of the out-of-favour Carew, Sidwell, Davies and Ireland and Gerard Houllier will be sitting far prettier on his Villa perch! So how do you rate Villa’s transfer dealings this summer against our Premier League rivals? Has Houllier turned you round? To read my full round-up of why Villa can consider themselves well-off this February click here

Darren Bent Official Press Conference Quotes

January 18, 2011 by · 5 Comments
Filed under: Transfer News 

After signing for an initial fee of £18m, Darren Bent was unveiled as Villa’s record signing at 7pm in a press conference at Villa Park. Here are some of the key things that the striker has had to say about his new club along with manager Gerard Houllier’s opinions upon getting his man, who incidentally will wear the number 39 shirt until the end of the season; Read Here

Lyon: Villa Move in Makoun’s Hands

January 13, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Transfer News 

Without wanting to jinx things, it appears Villa are close to finally securing a deal for long-term target Jean Makoun. The Lyon midfielder may well have played his last game for the club after being recalled to the side last time out which now seems to have been his fairwell to the fans. The Cameroon international is believed to be in talks with manager Gerard Houllier, who has flown to his homeland in the hope of finalising a deal ahead of this weekend’s massive clash with Birmingham. The Blues were buoyed by the addition of long-time Villa target David Bentley, who arrived on loan this week and is likely make his debut in the derby on Sunday. Houllier will be hoping that a deal can be struck in time to give Villa a much needed boost ahead of the game with their fierce rivals in three days time. News of a fee is fairly widespread with Lyon originally holding out for £7m. Sky sources report the agreed fee is around £6-6.5m though sources in France say that it is not as straight forward as that. A translation for L’Equipe states that an original fee of 6m euros (£5m) has been agreed with add-ons of 3m (£2.5m) more, depending on Villa’s performance this season with a total potential value of £7.5m. Lyon have now confirmed that the player’s future is entirely in his own hands as the midfielder looks to decide on a move to England after a frustrating campaign in France.

Houllier Ups Adam Bid After Makoun Priced Out

January 11, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Transfer News 

Gerard Houllier has reportedly returned with an improved offer of £3.5m for Blackpool midfielder after an earlier offer was rebuffed by the Seasiders. Villa are thought to be in a battle with rivals Birmingham to sign the Scotsman but Holloway will be loathed to losing his talismanic skipper. The club had bid £2.5m for the 25-year-old and Houllier seems keen to secure his signature after an interest in Lyon midfielder Jean Makoun has cooled after the two clubs valuations of the player were not equal with the French side waiting for £7m for the Cameroon international. To douse the fire further, Lyon have recently recalled Makoun to the starting line-up with the player stating that although he was aware of interest from Villa and not ruling out a move, he was just happy to be playing again.

Houllier Looks to Want-Away Makoun

December 23, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
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Jean Makoun is considering a move away from Lyon after the signing of Yoann Gourcuff in the summer has seen the Cameroon international slip down the pecking order. Injury to the summer signing and Lyon’s other first choice centre midfielder Jeremy Toulalan has seen Makoun gain some sporadic appearances this year but the 27-year-old former Lille man has revealed that he is searching for first team football once again with Gerard Houllier hotly tipped to fight for his signature.

“The winter market? There are clubs interested,” he told L’Equipe.

“Lyon opened the door and haven’t ruled out a sale. I hope they haven’t changed their mind.

“I know I am on the fringes of the side, with Yoann Gourcuff and Jeremy Toulalan almost fit again.

“I play, then I don’t play. It is frustrating. I have always played and I want to carry on playing.

“I could do that at Lyon or maybe somewhere else. It is a complicated situation at the moment.”

Makoun has been linked to Villa in recent months and I completed a review of the Lyon midfielder in a rumour mill feature at the start of last month which you can read here.

Villa Linked with Host of Stars Ahead of Transfer Window

November 1, 2010 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Rumour Mill, Transfer News 

My bi-weekly Rumour Mill feature steps up a gear at the end of October as manager Gerard Houllier looks to strengthen his squad. Many of the rumours and reports over the last two weeks have featured midfielder’s despite a desperate need for proven goal-scorer. Some interesting and encouraging links none the less will go under my rule of quality and likelihood in 15th-31st October instalment. Diarra, Makoun, Muntari and More