Date: 4th January 2010 at 11:34am
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Martin O’Neill has told The Daily Mirror that he would like to keep midfielder Craig Gardner but thinks it might be tough to keep hold of him after admitting a few clubs had made enquiries. The 23-year-old, who has been virtually frozen out of the team even in the Cup campaigns this season, is wanted by both Blues and Wolves. MON said: ‘In an ideal world I would like him to stay, but players like to play.’ MON also says Gardner isn’t sure about things at the moment and seems a bit down, saying that he had thought about playing him in the FA Cup 3rd round win over Blackburn Rovers ‘but decided to leave it alone.’

The Mirror say that Stoke are looking to grab Ruud van Nistelrooy before Liverpool do. Thing is though, Rafa denied any link to the former Manchester United star striker so…? However, just wondered, despite him being 33, having struggled with a knee injury and having not played much football in the last season, would you have a gamble and go for him short term for Villa? Ruud has apparently been told that he has a chance of making the Dutch squad for the World Cup but obviously only if he is playing first team football.

Cardiff City are apparently interested in signing Fabian Delph on loan.

Villa, Blackburn, Everton and Liverpool are apparently interested in Portsmouth’s on-loan striker Frederic Piquionne. Due to the problems at Pompey the Lyon strikers future at Fratton Park is in doubt.

Meanwhile…. oh here we go…. the Daily Star claim that Real Madrid are going to bid £60m for Man Utd and England striker Wayne Rooney but I can exclusively reveal he is in fact targetting a shock move to Villa. Apparently Rooney is obsessed with HP sauce and wants to be closer to the source of the sauce. All we need to do now is stop him from finding out the factory which used to be close enough to the Aston Expressway to smell it, has in fact moved! Collette is said to be very excited in the prospect of moving to a City where people speak properly.

You heard it here first folks… unless Rooney takes legal action against this most scurrelous of rumours, then ‘you ain’t seen me… right?’ (copyright the Fast Show)