After it was suggested that the likes of Charles N’Zogbia and Alan Hutton were close to transfers it appears that talk and indeed interest from both parties in terms of Villa and the respective players has cooled, meaning that Shay Given is likely to be the only completed transfer by the end of this week.
From what I have heard the deal for the Irishman is all but secured after a fee of around £3.5m was agreed for the 35-year-old’s services. The Man city keeper will undertake a medical at Villa Park having reportedly accepted a pay cut of around £20,000 a week to join the rebuilding process under Alex McLeish and assuming all goes well with the tests, the experienced former Newcastle man should be a Villa player before the weekend, replacing fellow veteran stopper Brad Friedel in the process.
In terms of other imminent transfers I’m afraid there is little to report at the moment but this shouldn’t throw you into a state of panic. The club are weighing up targets and are fully aware of the sizeable changes needed, though initial deals that were though to be in place for Hutton and N’Zogbia are now believed to be unlikely to come to fruition. The problems with the latter regard a transfer fee, with Villa reluctant to exceed the £10m mark while Wigan are suggested to be holding out for closer to £20m. A move for West Ham duo Scott Parker and Thomas Hitzlsperger is a realistic option but the former is thought to be waiting on a move to one of the big 4, with a spectacular return to Chelsea being touted following the long term injury to Michael Essien. Former Villan Hitzlsperger is apparently keen on a return to the club but I think McLeish has targets he would rather make an attempt for over the German international.
When it comes to Stewart Downing, reports today suggest that Liverpool have upped their offer to around £18.5m in order to test Villa’s resolve and in my opinion that is a tough one to turn down, despite the club seemingly holding out for £20m for last season’s star man. The winger is favouring the option of a move to Anfield over a potential Arsenal switch due to close ties to some of the players and the more realistic option of regular first team football.
In other news, Villa have agreed compensation for Alex McLeish with the Telegraph claiming that a fee in the region of £3m has been parted with which will undoubtedly infuriate fans dead against his arrival further. The package also ensured that Blues assistant Peter Grant and Dr Ian McGuiness joined the Scot at Villa Park, while Mcleish has also recruited Blackburn fitness coach Adrian Lamb.
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