Date: 7th August 2008 at 9:43am
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Well well well. Some strong links not just gossip it seems!

The topic of the day for Villa is………….. NO not Gareth BarryLuke Young and Nicky Shorey. Hurrah!

Reports say we are chasing Middlesbrough right-back Luke Young and Reading left back Nicky Shorey. Why are we chasing them and more to the point, why are they running away?!

The Sun says Villa are set for a £9million double deal. The red top, along with other papers, claim Villa’s £4million (some say £4.5m) bid for 27-year-old Shorey has been accepted and that we’ll bid £5million for Boro’s 29-year-old Luke Young. A right-back at Villa? Bit of a novel idea?! They also report that the ex-Charlton and Spurs defender missed training with Boro yesterday sparking speculation that he was on his way. Young was signed by Boro for £2.5m so a nifty profit will be made by Gareth Southgate. Would it be over critical to ask why we didn’t go for him 12 months ago?!? Sharp intake of breath, heresy!

Young cost £2.5m from Addicks a year ago and was in the England squad for last year’s Euro 2008 qualifier against Russia.

The Independent say Luke Young is expected to join Villa today and say Nicky Shorey is believed to be close to moving to Villa Park. Sunderland have also apparently had a bid accepted but the left-back is looking to Villa Park as his next destination.

The Times claim that Luke Young will only cost £3.5million and also say we are ‘close’ to clinching his signature.

The Daily Mail say we are set to beat off Sunderland and Portsmouth for Shorey at a price of £4.5million.

The Daily Mail also claim that Steven Gerrard’s thigh injury will ‘almost certainly scupper’ any deal to sell Xabi Alonso to get the funds for Gareth Barry. Not sure this makes sense, if they don’t have Barry they will be a man down, if they sell Alonso to buy Barry, they will still be one man down?!

The Independent also have another snippet on the Barry saga. They say the midfielder is still waiting for news from Liverpool. The situation appears to be that Rafa needs to sell before he can buy OR that he’ll need the much loved by the Kop American owners to underwrite the purchase on the understanding sales will pay them back. Seems at the moment they’ve not been willing to do that and Rafa is still waiting.