Reports suggest that Manchester United are not only scouting Ashley Young at Villa Park, but also young defender Ciaran Clark. Speculation arose after a matter of months of first team action, revealing the prospect of the 21-year-old , that Fergie had acquired an interested in Clark. In turn this forced Villa’s hand and the club wisely tied the centre-back down on a four and a half year contract at the end of last year.
If the rumours are true and United did make a bid for the youngster, I would suggest that it would at least have to match, if not better, any price for Ashley Young due to the player’s contrasting contract situation. Again, I would suggest a fee in and around the region of £15m would be required to make the Villa management, who are extremely fond of the defender, even consider a deal for the lad who chose to align his international priorities with the Republic of Ireland rather than England. Since making that decision Clark has turned out for the senior international team alongside team-mate and centre back partner Richard Dunne, against another fellow defensive colleague, James Collins, who captained Wales on the day.
I’m not surprised at the link with Jonny Evans not really fulfilling his potential and Ferdinand and Vidic ageing so United may be preparing a Clark-Smalling future partnership but I can’t see it happening. The Villa man has been all the more impressive in his debut season after breaking through the ranks by performing at centre back, left back and centre midfield, and all with consumate ease, scoring 4 goals in 24 appearances. One concern over the player is a poor disciplinary record which needs work, Clark misses the next 2 games after picking up 10 yellow cards in the 24 games, including 9 in 18 games in the league (1 every other game).
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