Date: 26th December 2007 at 12:54pm
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Probably one of the strangest headlines I’ll put this year, but Villa are interested in Alberto Rodriguez.

The 22-year-old defender is valued at around £6 million, but his stock is growing in international football with a number of Premiserhip sides apparently showing interest.

If rumours are to be believed though Villa nd Newcastle are heading the pack.

Rodriguez is nicknamed ‘El Mudo’, which I’m reliably informed translates as ‘the mute’. Whether this ironic and he’s a hellraiser, or shy and wouldn’t say boo to a ghost I don’t know. Maybe Sporting Braga fans actually call him ‘the mule’ and people have misunderstood?

But it’s Boxing Day and I’m a little too preoccupied to check.

Interest in the player grew after some sparkling performances for his club, and then he really made a name for himself whilst representing Peru at the Copa America earlier this year. Some may remember the name as he faced off against Bolton in the Uefa Cup stage.

Brags President Antonio Salvador has confirmed the interest but has insisted he will not settle for a cut price deal; if he allows The Mute to leave.

Speaking to Portuguese media, he said:

‘It is true that interest in the kid from English clubs exists, but the subject has not been closed.

‘It is possible that I will go to England personally to speak about him.

‘Alberto has a value in the market and Sporting Braga is not disposed to reducing it by a euro in any deal.’