Date: 20th June 2008 at 9:30am
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The Sun are covering the reports that appeared online yesterday that Villa, along with Spurs, are after £6million rated West Ham defender Anton Ferdinand. Apparently the Hammers are prepared to listen to offers for the brother of Manchester United and England defender Rio. The report also repeat the rumours that Portuguese right-backs Joao Pereira and Miguel are also targets.

The Daily Mail say Villa should complete the signing of Steve Sidwell in the next few days although according to other reports a fee has yet to be agreed. The paper also say we have the following players on our list: El Hadji Diouf (Bolton), Darren Bent (Spurs), Jimmy Bullard (Fulham), Tom Huddlestone (Spurs), James Milner (Newcastle), Aaron Lennon (Spurs), Pascal Chimbonda (Spurs), Joao Pereira (Sporting Braga) and Shaun Scannell (Crystal Palace). DIOUF? Oh blimey no!

The Birmingham Post report that Steve Sidwell has been on holiday in Dubai and is due home today, possibly after that talks can begin.

Various reports are suggesting we’ll beat the other teams to the punch and bid £15million for Blackburn midfielder David Bentley.

The Daily Record says that Celtic would like Darren Bent on a season long loan but that Villa and Sunderland are after the striker and want to get him on a permanent deal.

Craig Gardner has spoken of the possible signing of Steve Sidwell saying on Sky Sports News, ‘He’s an excellent player. I can’t wait if he comes. I can’t wait to play alongside him. It would be a great signing. I can’t wait to see him down here. He’s got everything. He’s got a good engine, he can tackle and pass. He’s a box-to-box player and that’s what Villa want. He’s a top class player. Chelsea don’t buy amateur players. What more can they (the fans) ask for?’

He also said of the link to David Bentley, ‘Bentley’s an England international. If he comes it would be another great signing. O’Neill’s bringing in top class players and that’s what we need.’

Again, a player – this time ours and not Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard talking about wanting Gareth Barry at Anfield – talking up moves for players contracted to other clubs. There should surely be rules about them not doing this at least until fee’s have been agreed? Managers and clubs aren’t allowed to do it for fear of being accused of tapping up players!

On a positive note Craig Gardner also said he thinks Villa skipper Gareth Barry will still be at Villa next season.


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