Date: 21st December 2008 at 11:16am
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The People today have a report saying that Martin O’Neill has targeted a £10million January transfer for Portsmouth striker Jermain Defoe.

The striker, who moved from Spurs last January to Fratton Park – and despite the protestations of some Villa fans even now, we did not lose out in the bidding war and Jermain did not choose Portsmouth over Villa, we simply did NOT bid for the England striker. That is 100% fact!

The report says Pompey owner Sacha Gaydamak has to sell due to financial pressures and O’Neill, the charitable soul he is, is willing to help out by taking the striker to Villa Park!

The red top also claims that O’Neill has decided against trying for Blackburn striker Roque Santa Cruz and that the other supposed target, Emile Heskey wants to stay at Wigan until the summer when he can leave on a free.

The People say Redknapp bought Defoe for Pompey in a £7.5m swoop, but rules state that he cannot go back to Spurs within a year. However, that is currently being investigated at the highest level..

Talking about Heskey, the Wigan chairman Dave Whelan has confirmed he has received no bids for the England ‘striker’.

In other reports, it looks like there is no shortage of interest for Villa’s onloan winger Wayne Routledge who we bought from Spurs last January for £1.25m. Apparently both Cardiff City and Queens Park Rangers want to sign him permanently.

The News Of The World today says that Manchester United Ben Foster is keen to leave Old Trafford in order to get his England career back on track. Aston Villa, Spurs and Middlesbrough are all apparently willing to meet the £4m price tag.

Sky Sports report that Villa are after Dutch starlet defender Arsenio Halfhuid after catching the scouts eye playing for Excelsior Rotterdam.