The Daily Mail has reported that Real Madrid have won the race to sign Villa target Nuri Sahin after triggering a clause in his contract that would see a bid of around £8m automatically accepted. It had been suggested that the midfielder’s minimum fee release clause was as low as £5m after the Turkish international rejected new terms at Borussia Dortmund, despite the club winning the Bundesliga ahead of favourites Bayern Munich by a distance. That fee was only applicable if the player had moved elsewhere within Germany, with a move to foreign seas seeing Dortmund receive a fee closer to their valuation of the 22-year-old. With the likes of Madrid, Chelsea and Liverpool all thought to be interested this was always going to be a long shot and seemingly has now proved to be exactly that. In other news Villa have been linked, not for the first time, to West Ham stopper Robert Green, as well as Rangers frontman Nikica Jelavic, though the Croat has claimed he hopes to emulate the success of countryman Dado Prso at Ibrox after an impressive first season with the Scottish champions. To read stats on the one that got away, Nuri Sahin, click here or
Robert Green is one of a number of West Ham players who is thought to be keen on a move from the club if they are relegated, which looks increasingly likely as they sit bottom of the Premier League pile after a 2-1 defeat to Man City on Sunday. The 31-year-old England international is somewhat infamous nowadays after ‘that gaffe’ in the World Cup last summer, and despite some impressive performances this term, has looked shaken ever since. Villa’s reserve team veteran Andy Marshall is a close friend to Green from their days at Norwich and is thought to have tempted the keeper, though I would suggests that most Villa fans wouldn’t thank him for this as Houllier looks for a long-term replacement to the soon to be 40-year-old Brad Friedel. In propping up a woeful Hammers back line, Green has conceded 62 goals in 34 league appearances, almost 2 a game on average, keeping just 5 clean sheets. Behind an almost as bad Villa defence this season, Brad Friedel has let in 57 goals in one more game than his fellow stopper, keeping one more clean sheet in that time.
Nikica Jelavic signed for Rangers in the summer of 2010 from that European team that we don’t mention (Rapid Vienna) after netting against Villa twice in as many games to stop us qualifying for the Europa League last term. The 25-year-old has played down a move from Ibrox after a short one-year spell, adding: “The Premier League? There are talks about this, I’m reading about interest from Aston Villa but my main goal is to one day be like Dado Prso. I want to be an icon as he was here.“ In just 25 games in all competitions for the SPL leaders, Jelavic has netted 16 goals, setting up a further 7 and contributing to a goal (goal/assist) every 83 minutes which is hugely impressive even if it is a SPL level! Rangers signed him after he netted 3 goals in the 2 games he played against Celtic in Europe last season. In total he scored 29 goals in 48 games in that campaign.
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