Date: 6th January 2009 at 11:07am
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Sky Sports are claiming that Aston Villa have had a £11million bid rejected by West Ham for Matthew Upson. I understand this is not the case, I don’t think we are in the market for a central defender and I don’t believe any bid has been made. Sky also claim The England international is wanted by Manchester City, Tottenham and Arsenal. They further claim Villa will increase the bid towards the £16million that the Hammers want. I stand to be corrected but have reason to believe this is simply not happening.

Oh come on, surely the papers can do better than this! In a report in the Mirror by James Nursery, the red top suggests Villa will sell Marlon Harewood to Stoke for around £2million in order to finance a move for Wigan striker Emile Heskey. Now if they said Marlon would leave to get first team football IF we get Emile then fine, good point well made but there is no way on Paul McGrath’s earth that Villa need to raise money in order to bring players in. Randy and his team are a serious outfit who are prepared to back their manager to the hilt, especially as we are currently and proudly sitting in the top four.

The Mirror also claim that West Brom have had a loan request for former West Ham striker Marlon Harewood rejected. Whatever happens, I hope he gets a new team, he hasn’t made the grade at Villa and rarely features now even as a super sub but his attitude has been decent enough when he has come on and he deserves first team football. I never thought we should have signed him in the first place – there was a right old storm when we did if you remember….! – but he did show enough heart to win most of the fans over. Good luck to the fella.

Sunderland boss Ricky Sbragia has said he won’t allow Kenwyne Jones, linked to Villa in a £5million deal, to leave the Stadium of Light. He said; ‘We have got a big squad – we have got something like 37 pros. We have a big squad, so it is very difficult to manage and keep them all happy. But the one thing we don’t want to do is get rid of our better players.’

And that at the moment appears to be that. Martin O’Neill has said that he isn’t after the players he is being linked with at the moment, the fact that Spurs appear to have had a £15million bid for Jermain Defoe suggests he knows what he is on about and the press possibly don’t! Also proves (sort of) my point that despite some saying we failed in our bid to get Defoe last January from Spurs – with the suggestion from some that he chose Portsmouth over us – we never bid for him.

Hopefully a striker will be found shortly thought as big John Carew’s injury seems to be taking a good while to clear up and he isn’t due for an imminent return just yet.