Date: 9th January 2008 at 9:52am
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According to The Sun both Aston Villa and Manchester City have approached Newcastle United officially to enquire about striker Obafemi Martins despite the fact the he Nigerian international is currently away at the African Nations Cup.

The former Internazionale (or as we call them, wrongly apparently, Inter Milan) star has a £13million release clause according to reports although the Sun say he has been negotiating to remove that figure recently. The paper also quote ‘a source close to Martins’ (lol) who said: ‘There is a lot of interest in Oba and he is not sure where he stands at Newcastle.’ Apparently Martins has been frustrated being played wide right when he sees himself as a central striker.

A worrying report, as covered last night on Vital, is covered today by Setanta and Sky, this is to do with Martin Laursen saying he would be interested in a move to either Tottenham or Newcastle. I tell you what, I’d be gutted if he left and think the top four are mad if they let him go anywhere but their clubs if we do cock it up and let him go. I felt the same when Gareth Southgate went to Middlesbrough, Man Utd etc missed a real trick there in my opinion! Laursen has said he will stay at Villa if the terms of the deal are correct so lets hope the terms of the deal ARE correct! ‘I’m feeling really well with Villa and would be open to extend with them if the terms are right,’ adding in the Mail, ‘I’ve read in the press that those two clubs would be interested in me. I don’t know if they have spoken to Aston Villa, I haven’t heard anything, but it’s two big clubs and it’s certainly something that would interest me.’

The Independent return to the Jermain Defoe link repeating the reports that Juande Ramos is willing to listen to offers for the England international striker. According to them the £16million summer signing Darren Bent might also be available. The Sun claim that Spurs will axe 8 players naming, Paul Robinson, Jermain Defoe, Pascal Chimbonda, Lee Young-Pyo, Anthony Gardner, Paul Stalteri, Wayne Routledge and Hossam Ghaly.

Sultana also reckon that keeper Thomas Sorensen is open to a move to Derby County.

I can’t find any fuller quotes but when Arsene Wenger was asked about the chances of Justin Hoyte moving to Villa, the Arsenal manager said we had ‘no chance’ of getting the England U21 right-back.

The Mirror claim that Villa aren’t giving up on signing Sevilla left-sided wing-back Jose Luis Crespo who has just signed a new deal with the Spanish club.

Vital Watford have Marlon Harewood on the way to the Hornets on loan: Click Here

A report on the FansFC site reckon Juventus are interested in Aston Villa striker John Carew. I do repeat, this is on FansFC and Carew only the other day said he was happy at Villa and wanted to stay here long term. As reported in the Villa Times yesterday: Big John Carew says he is happy and settled at Villa and would like to see his future with us and helping the club to fulfil their potential. The 28-year-old Hulk said: ‘I hope to be a Villa player for many years. It’s good to be at a club with such big potential. There’s no reason why Villa shouldn’t get into Europe. We’ve a lot of talent, a great manager and a lot of young players with great futures.’

And that folks, appears to be that for today. Lets hope come tomorrow (or the next day, or the next day, or the next day!!) we are talking about who we have signed, not who we might sign.