Martin O’Neill has walked out on Aston Villa just days before the season starts and there is speculation that his decision was prompted by a row over the future of Ashley Young.
There’s some logic to this. O’Neill has known about James Milner wanting out for months now, so you wouldn’t think that his sale would prompt the Villa manager to walk. I suppose there could have been a row over the size of the fee accepted by Villa, or the amount of that money available to O’Neill for transfers, but again, the Milner to City deal has been talked about for such a long time that you wonder what could possibly upset O’Neill sufficiently for him to do something like this.
That said, with Villa playing hardball with Manchester City over Milner, why would they accept a bid from us for Young, unless it was for a similarly exorbitant fee? There’s been talk of a swap deal involving the likes of Jenas, Keane and Bentley going to Villa, but what chairman would agree a deal like this over his manager’s head? It would have to be cold, hard cash.
I don’t believe that we are potless as Harry has indicated, but I find it equally hard to think that we’d pay megabucks for Young when a striker seems more of a priority.
It’s all quite puzzling and guaranteed to get the message boards buzzing. Do you think Young will join and if so, do you want him at White Hart Lane? Regardless of my misgivings over the possible fee, I think that Young on one wing and Lennon on the other would be a frightening proposition for opposition defenders next season.
The one positive from all of this which is surely definite, is the fact that it will be very hard now for Villa to compete within the top six, as they have done in recent seasons. The downside is that their new manager probably won’t have any interest in signing Jenas and Keane.