Transfer Wrap

Surprisingly, no incoming signings beyond the loan signing of Manchester United keeper Sam Johnstone have been completed by Aston Villa during the first week of the January transfer window. You’d think they’d be a bit more forward-planning considering the obvious need for a midfielder and the striker January bailout with Rudy Gestede finalising his move to Middlesborough this week, meaning Villa suddenly have three less striker options for January fixtures with Jonathan Kodjia and Jordan Ayew off to the African Cup of Nations.

Lansbury Competition

The main Villa target at the moment seems to be Henri Lansbury who it is believed will add more bite, energy and goals from the midfield. Derby and Watford were initially the first clubs reported to be interested in the Forest captain’s services.

Villa are rumoured to have topped any current bids with a £3m bid of their own, but the Nottingham Post is now reporting that Celtic maybe entering the picture.

Multiple media outlets have reported from the press conference today that Bruce has admitted he has officially shown interest into the player.

 

“We have made an enquiry for Lansbury,” said Bruce. “That is as far as it has gone so far.

 “There are a few we are looking at. Nothing more than that.”

Unlikely Rhodes to Villa Park

The question of Jordan Rhodes? Would the Boro striker really come to Villa?

First of all, there would be a drop from his Premier League wages. Then, would he really nudge Jonathan Kodjia from the number one striker spot? There’s no chance he would swap playing second fiddle in the Premier League to a similiar role in the Championship.

One attraction of joining Villa in the summer was the potential of promotion, but that prospect is less now with Villa adrift in mid-table.

Then what of Villa’s point-of-view?

They’ve already twice broken the Championship record for strikers in the hope they would fire Villa out of the league. Jonathan Kodjia has done ok, but is now gone for the month, while McCormack’s previous record speaks for himself and Villa must find a way of utilising him.

Bruce has already declared the club had too many strikers, so in the case of Gestede, he’s  a player that won’t necessarily be replaced.

 

Villa can buy as many more strikers as they can afford, but it won’t do them a fat load of good without the right midfield mix and width going forward.

None of Rhodes, Kodjia or McCormack guarantee the amount of goals needed for promotion, if there’s no service.

Nigel Spink has been spreading rumours of Jordan Rhodes being at Villa’s training ground on local radio, which was reported by the Birmingham Mail. That’s basically all he said, so little evidence, and it seems he’s just passing on second-hand gossip.

Keepers?

With the loan of Manchester United keeper Sam Johnstone is the bag, it’ll be interesting to see if the reports of Villa planning a £4Million bid for QPR goalkeeper Alex Smithies carry any weight. Unlikely it has to be said. It seems that Johnstone has come in as a legit number one contender, but also to boost Villa back up to three keepers after Jed Steers’ injury.

Villa Outs

There’s been rumours of overseas interest in Leandro Bacuna, but for more on that and other players, see the earlier MOMS Article on potential transfers out of Villa.

Chinese Cherry

Sky Sports reports that QPR midfielder Tjaronn Cherry, who was previously connected to Villa, is on the verge of clinching a deal to move to the lucrative Chinese Super League. A deal worth in excess of £4 million has been agreed with Guizhou Hengfeng Zhicheng.

The Chinese Super League surely must help Villa get rid of some of it’s undesirables. Come on Doctor Tony, put in a good word for Gabby & co.

 

Our Old Friend

The Daily Mail reports that former Villan Christian Benteke has rejected a £40m move to Chinese side Beijing Guoan. The current Crystal Palace hitman rejected what was to be around £165,000 per week from Beijing Guoan in favour of his latest Premier League relegation battle.

The Belgian striker is currently reported to be on around £100,000-a-week, so while his career maybe heading south, at least his bank balance isn’t.

Brewers Droop

In other news, Burton Away fans were not too happy about their Boxing Day visit to Villa Park. The Burton Mail ran several travelling Burton fan’s experiences of the Upper Doug Ellis away section. Burton brought 2500 and it seems those in the upper tier got a bit of a raw deal when it came to plumping, no alcohol and other shoddy conditions.

UTV

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