Aston Villa’s Brad Friedel is one the best goalkeepers ever to have played in the Premiership. The former USA No.1 has enjoyed a fantastic career in the English top flight, having played for Liverpool, Blackburn Rovers and Aston Villa.
The consummate professional, Friedel has always been a rock for any side he played for, and frustratingly for opposition fans has never seemed to suffer from the occasional dip in form which usually plagues even the best keepers.
However, now 39 years-old, Friedel’s career is drawing to a close, and Gerard Houllier cannot hope to get many more seasons out of his goalie. The Villa boss must realise this, with reports emerging in Germany today that Villa are tracking Borussia Dortmund’s Roman Weidenfeller.
Last year, the German league-leaders offered their ‘keeper a four-year contract extension; however, having been with the club since 2002, Weidenfeller would only sign an extension for two years, in the hope of pursuing a new challenge abroad, should the opportunity arise. Villa are thought to be the club willing to offer him that opportunity.
Online sports publication, Kicker, reports that Gerard Houllier has already made contact with the player’s representatives as to his availability. The ‘keeper is valued at around £4m, yet Villa would be able to sign him on a free in July when his contract expires.
The German press is calling the transfer a “question of love or money” for Weidenfeller, as Villa will offer the player a substantial increase on his current wages in an effort to convince him to sign.
After 9 seasons with Dortmund, Weidenfeller has probably paid his dues to the Bundesliga table-toppers, and would relish the chance to test himself in the Premiership at the highest level.