After failing in his efforts to tempt Aston Villa winger Ashley Young with a move south over the summer, Harry “Not a Wheeler Dealer” Redknapp will once again try to bring Young to the Lane when the transfer window opens in January. Redknapp, who, lest we forget, is a proper football manager, had tried to bring in Young in August, but following Martin O’Neill’s resignation the deal fell through.
Villa are going to struggle to improve on last season’s sixth place finish, and Young could well be tempted by the lure of Champions League football at White Hart Lane. Gerard Houllier is taking over at Villa Park, and effectively has until the beginning of January to convince Young to stay in the midlands.
Young is reported to be valued by Villa in the region of £22million; a figure that puts the £8million paid to Real Madrid for Rafael van der Vaart into the shade. In order to pay some of this, Redknapp might look at clearing out some of the out-of-favour deadwood from the Spurs squad, such as Jermaine Jenas and Robbie Keane.
The likelihood of this deal depends on Houllier’s plans for the club. Randy Lerner is unwilling to spend money to rebuild the squad without that money being subsidised by player sales (although by that reckoning, they should have some £16million knocking around already from the Milner transfer). Young is certainly one of Villa’s most important players at the moment, but the prospect of a big transfer would give Houllier the option of bringing in a couple of his own players in January. Although with the Frenchman’s transfer history, this might be a less-than-thrilling prospect for Villa fans. Igor Biscan anyone?
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