Date: 28th May 2008 at 9:46am
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Reported Villa and Portsmouth target Peter Crouch has, according to the Daily Star, told Tom-Jones-mini-me Rafa Benitez that he intends to see out the final year of his contract and move on a free next summer as a protest at being out-priced from a move this summer. Rafa has put a £15million price tag on the players head (not sure how much the rest of him is being sold for) which is putting off suitors.

As we reported yesterday, Villa are looking to bid £2million for Chareloi striker Mouhamadou Habib. So nothing new there, however today’s report, this time in the Daily Mirror claim this is as a replacement for former West Ham striker Marlon Harewood. The Hare, who came to Villa under a storm of ambivalence and consternation from Villa fans having been promised ‘world class signings’ won the Villa faithful over last season with his never say die attitude. Apparently he is being chased by Stoke, Fulham and Rangers. To be fair to Harewood, if we get a decent offer, remembering he cost us £4million, I’d let him leave as he only made one start and often didn’t even feature on the bench.

And on the link to Habib reports claim that several English clubs as well as Dutch teams PSV Eindhoven and Feyernoord are also watching the 21-year-old African who holds a French passport, meaning there will be no work permit problems.

According to the Guardian, Randy Lerner will be moving to the Midlands for next season as he wants a more hands on role. With the CEO and COO both now departed, this might well make sense. More of this later.

OK, now we really know the transfer window is open because Shaun Maloney has been linked by the Birmingham Mail to a return to Celtic. He’s been linked to a return every transfer window since his arrival. To be fair he might well still be looking for an exit as he has failed to make a massive impact at Villa and did, at one stage, talk about being homesick. Whether the Scott has now settled and intends to fight for a place remains to be seen. The report says Villa want ‘significantly more’ that the £1million they paid because he has two years left on his contract.

Many reports are repeating the rumour that Villa striker Luke Moore is set to join West Bromwich Albion in a permanent £3.5m move. It is claimed he will sign a four-year contract.

Reports are again speculating on the destination of Blackburn winger David Bentley who has turned down a new contract at Ewood Park. The former Arsenal player is apparently being courted by Spurs, Chelsea, Liverpool, Aston Villa, Everton and Manchester City. The 23-year-old England international scored 6 goals, made 11 assists and started 37 PL games.

Former Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United striker Frederic Kanoute is apparently being chased by a number of Premier Leagues including Villa. The 30-year-old is also being linked with a return to Spurs and Bolton. He got 26 goals in 42 games for Seville last season. Kanoute said ‘If there’s a serious proposal on the table then I will study it, I’d like to stay on in Seville. I’m not thinking about changing, at the moment.’ And on the link to Premier League teams he added, ‘It’s true that until now there have been no serious offers, but if a serious one came I would think about it.’