Date: 9th July 2008 at 4:11pm
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Off the record, on the QT, and very hush-hush: Aston Villa insider news

Undercover reporter Avi Nalaf unzips his cunning goalpost disguise to bring us the latest insider gossip from Bodymoor Heath.

With the Barry saga all but wrapped up, I’ve been quietly hiding behind Gareth’s ego to find out what he’s been doing with all his spare time and money. Fiddling with his balls and learning Scouse seem to have occupied most of his time (he’s nailed the phrase “dey doo doh don’t dey doh”, and can say it while untangling his testes without even grimacing).

However, I struck gold yesterday when his bezzie mate Steven came round, and they skipped off to go and frolic through a grassy meadow while singing “You’ll never wa*k alone” (I didn’t quite catch the lyrics). Foolishly, Bazza left his mansion’s Genital Husbandry Suite unlocked, and I was able to sneak in and grab a few choice extracts from his diary, which we exclusively reveal here:

“Went to travel agents. Told them, off the record, that I wanna go to Spain. Wanted to go for ages. Now feels like the right time…”

“… Still heard nothing. English tourist board “too busy” to offer me incentive to stay. Shocking. I have still not been led by the hand onto a plane bound for Spain and had my pockets stuffed with free Euros. That’s well disrespectful. England is rubbish…”

“…WTF???! Found out that I actually have to explicitly tell the travel agents to book the holiday – AND PAY FOR IT MYSELF – in order to go to Spain. No discount; no £3m spending money. Nothing. Was told that if I want to go, I have to actually ASK for it, AND it will hit me in the pocket. It’s a scandal. I’ll just wait for the Spanish government to import me…”

“…Bored. Nothing to do except practise talking like Paul O’Grady and play with my balls. Hope I get exported soon ‘cos everyone in England hates me now. It’s not fair.”

How scandalous. My heart goes out to Gareth in this, his time of greed. Sorry, need.

Now for some juicy transfer gossip. We’ve all heard the rumours about Sidwell, Bentley and Robinson. But two potentially explosive new signings have gone unreported by the press.

The little-known Rottweiler brothers were taken on trial by the club on Monday. “Who?” I hear you ask. Well, they hail (heil?) from Germany and play in the goalkeeper and right-back positions – two positions we badly need to fill. My sources tell me that they were aggressive, combative and liable to discharge faeces at any given time, and were so imposing in training that the dinner lady made the rest of the squad go back to their classrooms until it was all over (although my sources may have got them confused with Joey Barton. I will check immediately).

Meanwhile, Martin O’Neill’s continuing naivety in the transfer market may lead to him losing out on one of his big summer targets… because he foolishly recommended the player to another club! Liverpool are now hot favourites to sign a certain out-of-favour Spurs striker, formerly a Charlton goal-machine. Apparently, when Rafa Benitez offered £12m for Gareth Barry, O’Neill thoughtfully suggested that, as an alternative, he should “get Bent”. More on this as it develops.

Stay tuned for the next gossip column, when Wayne Routledge will show us how you can make a handy chocolate teapot for just one million pounds, and I’ll be having an unsettling webcam chat with Ashley Young.