One of the down sides of the summer is the endless speculation and rumour mongering surrounding player transfers. A lot of this is completely made up, a work of fiction straight from the mind of some hack or other. Most of it is inaccurate, but there is a little gem of truth in there somewhere if you look hard enough. But how do you tell which is which?
The policy at Aston Villa Central is not to write a blog simply repeating rumour after rumour, but to only comment on what has happened or looks extremely likely to happen. Anyone can just parrot rumours, but all it achieves is to provide fuel for the fire.
However, just for fun, as the rumours surface, I’ll do my best to keep track of them here. At least we’ll have something to laugh at when we see just how far off the mark most of this nonsense is.
Don’t forget, I’ve selected the best Aston Villa blogs and news sources to bring you the latest headlines at The Villa Wire.
August 20th 2010
“Leicester have refused to rule out launching a sensational bid to lure Aston Villa striker Emile Heskey to the club.”
August 17th 2010
“Aston Villa have made an approach for Polish international winger Kamil Grosicki. The 22-year-old has won three caps, and impressed with his first division club Jagiellonia Bialystok.”
August 11th 2010
“Aston Villa are preparing a shock move to bring Manuel Almunia to Villa Park as the goalkeeping merry go-round takes another twist. A triangle of moves is set start with Fulham keeper Mark Schwarzer joining Arsenal and Villa’s Brad Friedel moving down to Craven Cottage to replace him.”
August 8th 2010
Aston Villa are hoping to take advantage of Everton’s failure to offer Steven Pienaar a new contract by luring the 28-year-old to Villa Park.
August 5th 2010
“Nicky Shorey looks set to sign for West Bromwich Albion in a cut-price deal as the left-back brings to an end an unhappy spell at Aston Villa.”
July 28th 2010
“Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson wants Aston Villa midfield general Stiliyan Petrov as the shock replacement for transfer-seeking Javier Mascherano.”
“Turkish giants Besiktas are lining up a move for Aston Villa striker John Carew.”
July 11th 2010
“KLAAS-JAN HUNTELAAR has been offered to Aston Villa. The AC Milan striker has been linked with a move to the Premier League since he was at Ajax and has already been made available to Manchester City and Tottenham.”
[News of the World]
“AIDEN McGEADY is wanted by Aston Villa – and Martin O’Neill will offer England flop Emile Heskey as part of the deal.”
[News of the World]
July 2nd 2010
“Aston Villa are preparing for life without playmaker James Milner by enquiring with Marseille over the availability of Hatem Ben Arfa.”
June 29th 2010
Meanwhile, Korean center-back Cho Yong-hyung is also linked with a move to English side Aston Villa. “Aston Villa and a few other European clubs have shown interest in Cho,” said Yoon Ki-yeong of Cho’s agency Inspokorea.
June 13th 2010
“Nottingham Forest hunt £2.5m-rated Aston Villa defender Nicky Shorey”
June 8th 2010
“HARRY REDKNAPP has declared his interest in signing Joe Cole on a free transfer from Chelsea – and is also putting together a £22million package to lure England reject Gabriel Agbonlahor to Tottenham.”
June 7th 2010
“Manchester City are set to make a final £27 million bid for Aston Villa midfielder James Milner as they seek to bolster their squad in a bid to secure Champions League football next season.”
“STEVE Bruce is considering a move for Aston Villa’s Luke Young as he weighs up the competing claims of THREE right-backs this summer.”
June 4th 2010
“Aston Villa are shock candidates for a £5.8million bid for Sebastien Frey. The Fiorentina goalkeeper suggested he would be willing to leave in order to freshen his career after four years at the club, and now it seems Villa may have stolen a march on their Premier League rivals.”
“Aston Villa have expressed an interest in Mbark Boussoufa, the 25-year-old Morocco midfield player, who has been valued by Anderlecht at about £8.3 million.”
June 3rd 2010
“With Rafa Benitez’s future in doubt at Liverpool, we look at the runners and riders who may replace him as Martin O’Neill, Roy Hodgson, Laurent Blanc and Alex McLeish continue to dominate the bookmakers’ thoughts.”
Pro-Tip: Laurent Blanc is already signed up to take over France after the World Cup, but the Telegraph is never one to let facts get in the way.
May 31st 2010
Liverpool will demand £10million from Chelsea for Yossi Benayoun in a bid to put them off a move for the Israeli. Aston Villa have also shown interest as they weigh up possible replacements for Manchester City target James Milner.”
“Aston Villa are weighing up a summer bid for Braga left-back Evaldo. An experienced defender, Evaldo is particularly strong in the air, and Villa manager Martin O’Neill will want to boost his options for next season.”
May 29th 2010
“KEANE POISED TO HOLD TALKS WITH VILLA. Spurs striker wants to work for O’Neill”
[News of the World]
May 28th 2010
“Aston Villa are ready to launch a move for West Ham’s Valon Behrami and Carlton Cole, Villa boss Martin O’Neill is a big fan of the versatile Behrami with the Hammers willing to sell at the right price.”
May 27th 2010
“West Ham leading Liverpool and Spurs in race for Curtis Davies.”
May 26th 2010
“MARTIN O’NEILL will launch a £2million bid for Cardiff’s Adam Matthews as Luke Young’s replacement at Aston Villa.”
“LIVERPOOL are planning a £5million move for Aston Villa’s out-of-favour centre-back Curtis Davies.”
May 25th 2010
“John Carew could be heading to Serie A this summer, both Fiorentina and Sampdoria are keen on the strapping 6ft 4in frontman.”
“Tottenham Hotspur are interested in signing the Aston Villa defender Curtis Davies in a deal that could mean Jermaine Jenas moving in the opposite direction.”
“ASTON VILLA are lining up West Ham’s Scott Parker as a potential replacement for James Milner.” (This one has been kicking around websites for a couple of days before it finally landed in the print media today).
May 23rd 2010
“ARSENAL are ready to join Aston Villa and Everton in testing Newcastle boss Chris Hughton’s resolve to hang on to Steven Taylor.”
“James Milner would prefer to move to Liverpool as long as Martin O’Neill takes over at Anfield.”
[News of the World]
“Martin O’Neill is ready to bid £9.5million for Valencia pair Nikola Zigic and Miguelas the Spanish club need to pay debts by June 30.”
[News of the World]
May 22nd 2010
“Robbie Keane is set to move from Tottenham to Aston Villa in a £15million deal.”
“English Premier League club Aston Villa have joined the race for Hajduk Split’s Senijad Ibricic.”
“Luke Young today insisted he would leave Villa with a heavy heart after claiming he wasn’t given a “fair fight” for his place last term.”
[Express & Star]
May 21st 2010
England internationals Micah Richards and Shaun Wright Phillips, under-21 star Nedum Onuoha and Stephen Ireland will be offered by Man City on top of £20m to tempt O’Neill to give up the fight for James Milner.
Aston Villa will hold preliminary talks with James Milner and his agent before the World Cup to establish whether the England international wants to stay with the club.
Tony Pulis will offer Emile Heskey a route out of Villa Park, if he can shift two of his unwanted strikers. Stoke City’s boss has earmarked Heskey as a replacement for James Beattie and Dave Kitson and will end Heskey’s unhappy second spell under Martin O’Neill.
Aston Villa are considering a move for ex-Chelsea and Tottenham striker Eidur Gudjohnsen on a season-long loan deal.
Manchester City are ready to splash the cash this summer with money-spinning bids for Argentine sensation Angel di Maria and Aston Villa winger Ashley Young as doubts linger over the future of troublesome striker Craig Bellamy at Eastlands.
Tottenham are ready to use Robbie Keane or Jermaine Jenas as part of a deal to lure £25m Ashley Young to White Hart Lane.
West Ham, Everton, Celtic and Aston Villa are all keen on landing Man City’s Martin Petrov on a Bosman.
May 20th 2010
Aston Villa manager Martin O’Neill is ready to renew his interest in Tottenham winger David Bentley.
May 19th 2010
Marlon Harewood has been offered a lucrative two-year deal by the new Turkish champions Bursaspor. But he is attracting plenty of interest from Championship sides and has received a firm offer DC United.
Aston Villa last night firmly rejected Manchester City’s £20m offer for James Milner and reiterated their intention to hold talks with the England international over a new long-term contract after the World Cup finals.
[From Aston Villa Central: Man City Just Don't Get It]
It is believed Roy Hodgson is keen on signing Aston Villa left-back Nicky Shorey on a permanent basis after joining the club on loan in January.
Aston Villa Football Club are ready to show Jermaine Beckford what’s on offer.
[Birmingham Mail via Fans FC]
May 18th 2010
Midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker has vowed to fight for a first-team place at Aston Villa. The former England Under 21 captain is one of the players Villa are prepared to invite offers for this summer. But Reo-Coker, who has one year remaining of his current contract, is more than willing to stay with the midlands club and battle for a spot.
May 17th 2010
Liverpool and Aston Villa have joined the chase to sign Carlton Cole after Birmingham City had a £10 million bid rejected.
[Daily Mirror via Goal]
May 16th 2010
James Milner is at the centre of the summer’s biggest transfer war, with Manchester City and Chelsea locked in a £24million battle to pluck him from Aston Villa’s grasp.
[The People via Sporting Life]
May 15th 2010
BOBBY ZAMORA is set to be an £8million summer target for Aston Villa and Everton. The two clubs have joined Birmingham in the battle to sign the Fulham striker, 29.
May 14th 2010
Aston Villa boss Martin O’Neill is keen to add another midfielder to his squad ahead of next season – seeing 27-year-old Jermaine Jenas as a star in the making, if given the right guidance and a regular spot in the team.