Date: 17th June 2008 at 9:35am
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Some decent links to Villa today and not one mention of Barry, well ok, just one mention of Barry and now 3 as I’ve mentioned him twice!

Could it be that the transfer activity is about to begin? Well, the paper links are certainly hotting up!

According to the Daily Express today Villa have made the first move in the race for Blackburn midfielder David Bentley. Previous reports have estimated his value at around £15million and despite the player saying he wanted out, the Ewood Park outfit have made it clear he’ll only be allowed to leave if the price is right.

The Daily Mirror say that Villa might well be getting Spurs right-back Pascal Chimbonda who they claim will be offloaded by the White Hart Lane outfit.

The Daily Mail say that Villa are set to buy ‘misfit’ Steve Sidwell for £5million from Chelsea. According to the report Martin O’Neill wants personal terms agreed quickly and suggests Sidwell will take a pay cut because half the £5m fee will form part of his pay off from Chelsea.

Meanwhile the Mirror claims that Newcastle have set the price for James Milner at £9million with both Liverpool and Aston Villa waiting in the wings (in the wings for a winger, jeez, this is quality reporting!!!)

The Independent claim that Portsmouth will make an opening bid of around £10million for Peter Crouch this week However they also claim that Villa and Newcastle are also interested but none of the clubs are sure what level to pitch their bids at after Rafa Benitez had put a £15million price tag on the England strikers head. Crouch is currently on holiday so no move would be imminent anyway but the report also says that Villa would expect Crouch as part of any deal involving Gareth Barry. The paper goes on to say that exchange hasn’t met with Tom-Jones-mini-me Benitez as yet adding ‘Even then, the personal terms at Villa would have to be right for Crouch, who will not be pushed into a move. In the worst case scenario, he would be prepared to see out his contract and leave on a Bosman free transfer next summer.’

Fans on here seem split on whether they’d like Peter Crouch back at Villa Park anyway, what do you think?