At yesterday evening’s home kit unveiling, which was more of a look at what you’ve already seen session for most but a successful one at that, Alex McLeish revealed that the club are likely to make just one more ‘top’ signing, with a winger to replace Downing and Young the priority.
The Charles N’Zogbia transfer saga is ongoing with Wigan retaining their stance of asking for £10m for their star man and Villa seemingly reluctant to oblige. The new Villa boss has spoken not only of the club’s policy to replace the outgoing stars with those already at the club, as well as of his readiness to resort to alternative wide man targets if the N’Zogbia deal falls through.
“We’re trying to sign another one, and trying to replace the players who have left with players who are at the club. For the time being, it will just be one and we’ll be doing further assessment of the squad over the next few weeks.”
Of N’Zogbia, he added: “I’ve been in this situation many times before, so it is important that we don’t end up with a custard pie on our faces. We do have others in mind that if the particular deal we are looking at falls through – we have to have fall-backs if that one falls through.”
In recent times, Villa have been linked with the likes of Spartak Moscow winger Aiden McGeady and Fiorentina’s Juan Manuel Vargas, though apparent interest in the duo has not been confirmed or denied by the club. McLeish’s quotes on the N’Zogbia deal could lead many to suggest that the transfer could be off but the Scot is simply covering all bases and having alternative options in place is not only a good thing but a necessity in any deal.
The more worrying comments to the fans will no doubt be the seemingly unwilling nature of the club to reinvest the money made from the sales of Downing and Young. Of the £36m the club are believed to have recouped for their star men, McLeish has spent just £3.5m on keeper Shay Given. The likelihood that the ‘one top signing’ will be a winger all but rules out any supposed interest in Scott Parker as well as a number of defensive targets, with McLeish ready to put faith in the likes of Stephen Warnock and Ireland, who were frozen out under the previous regime.
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