According to reports Gerard Houllier is not stopping his search for attacking options following the record signing of Darren Bent. Rumours suggest that Villa and Blackpool’s valuation of Charlie Adam are some way apart so a move is looking less and less likely. Villa apparently bid £4m in what is their third offer but Blackpool value him at double that so it doesn’t look good on that front. In other news Villa are reported to have scouts, along with the likes of Liverpool, at the Asian Cup in Qatar and are set to be monitoring Japanese star man Keisuke Honda. Sky Sports reported yesterday that Villa had made an offer for Blues midfielder Seb Larsson. I have been told that this is not the case but the club does hold an interest in the winger, along with Blackburn, who have bid, and Newcastle who had a bid accepted but failed to secure terms. The third link that I have heard is that of Dimitri Payet, an attacking winger or forward for St Ettiene. The Frenchman has seen talks break down over a new contract at the club, alerting the interest of favourites for his signature, Liverpool but also Gerard Houllier. A little bit about what you may like to know about the players is
Keisuke Honda is a 24-year-old Japanese attacking midfielder or straight forward front man. He is seen as somewhat of the poster boy of the national side after impressive creative qualities and an eye for a spectacular goal earned him a £4.5m move from VVV in Holland to CSKA Moscow. Since joining the Russian side he has gone on to improve and showcase his talents in Europe, attracting the interest of many, including Premier League rivals Liverpool, who are thought to be in pole position. In 25 games for Japan he has netted 7 times and was a star performer at the World Cup in 2010. One of these goals came in the Asian Cup tie against Syria a few days back. For club he has scored 1 in 5 in the Europa League during the Russian off-season, he also has 3 assists in those 5 games. In 2010 he scored 4 goals for Moscow in the league in 28 games with 6 in 18 prior to that in the Erevedisie. In all competitions last year he scored 18 goals and picked up 14 assists in 66 appearances.
Sebastien Larsson is a Blue-blood but manager Gerard Houllier is seemingly hopeful of adding a healthy claret tone to that issue, and it is a severe issue. He scored against Villa in the 2-1 cup defeat earlier in the season and would certainly have to win round the fans were he to join. He has been a mainstay in Alex McLeish’s side since their return to the Premier League and has attracted interest from a variety of clubs. The 25-year-old has decent delivery and a good set piece in his locker but has only netted 1 league goal in 20 games this season but also has 5 assists. Last season he played 33 league games scoring 4 goals. In 88 league games in total for City he has scored 11 goals and 11 assists (1 in 8).
Dimitri Payet may well be a bit of a head scratcher for most of you, and he was for me until about 15 minutes ago! According to my sources he is a 23-year-old attacking all-rounder and is valued at around £7m. Liverpool are again thought to be very interested, and again thought to be favourites after talks over a new contract broke down with his current club, Ligue 1 side St Ettiene. He caught the eye with a fantastic start to the French season and after the first 9 games he was top scorer with 8 goals. This included a brace against Montpellier and a hat-trick against RC Lens. Impressive eh? It doesn’t get better sadly. In his subsequent 10 league games he has failed to register but he did get a call-up to the French national side, coming on as a sub against England last year. Since then he has made 2 more substitute appearances in Euro 2012 qualifying, picking up an assist in both games.
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