Date: 9th January 2008 at 6:38pm
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The latest in the rumour mill comes from The Birmingham Mail who reckon that Martin O’Neill will now turn to Spurs mercenary defender Pascal Chimbonda after Arsene Wenger said Villa had ‘no chance’ of singing Arsenal’s Justin Hoyte.

I thought we’d got a right-back lined up and ready to move in the January window? Still, what do I know? DON’T answer that, I’m easily hurt.

Chimbonda, who pestered and sulked until Wigan sold him to Spurs against their wishes, is now unhappy at recent arrival Chris Gunter and reported Spurs bids for Rangers Alan Hutton. He said: ‘I think if this happened to any other player they would be disappointed and would even consider handing in a transfer request, but I don’t want to cause trouble. It looks like the club are looking to replace me and we will see what happens.’

Meanwhile Villa are amongst a host of clubs being linked to Arsenal’s Lassana Diarra with increased speculation after the player was left out of the squad for tonight’s Carling Cup semi-final first leg against Spurs. The 22-year-old defensive midfielder joined Arsenal from Chelsea in the summer but has failed to make an impact.

Another report reckons that Spurs striker Jermain Defoe would consider a move to Aston Villa but would rule out a move to Middlesbrough. With no quotes or substance, I am not convinced this is anything other than tittle tattle. Tittle tattle, that must be the first time I’ve used that expression, happy days!

Meanwhile Villa’s 18-year-old midfielder Chris Herd has joined Port Vale on a month’s loan and Zoltan Stieber has extended his loan at Yeovil until January 31.