As we near the closing of the transfer window a lot of the chatter surrounding Villa seems to have died down. There's still time for moves to take place, though at the moment it seems more likely that we see players on the fringes of the first team moved out rather than anyone else brought in. Checking in on the Sky Sports Transfer Clockwatch, we see that the rumors of Stephen Ireland moving to Newcastle persist. There's no firm connection made but the Magpies are known to have expressed interest and manager Alan Pardew is confident that the club will bring in players before the window closes. To be honest I'd greatly prefer to see Ireland go somewhere on loan (assuming his valuation has dropped since he was brought to Villa, which seems a fair bet) in an attempt to try and see if anything can be salvaged. I have a hard time believing that Ireland has simply forgotten how to play football and it seems unwise simply to label him a sunk cost at this point in time. With that said, if Ireland does depart for Newcastle I won't exactly be crushed either.
In other news concerning players I'd prefer Villa loan rather than sell, it would appear as though Birmingham City have entered the 'race' to sign defender Curtis Davies. Davies, who has spent most of the season on loan to Leicester City, was initially pegged to head to Celtic on loan before FIFA blocked the deal citing a little-known regulation that prevents players from moving to a foreign club after having played for two different clubs domestically in one season. After the Celtic deal fell through Davies looked set to head back to Leicester with an eye towards making the move a permanent one in the summer, but with a Premier League club interested in his services the situation becomes a bit less cut-and-dried. Davies is certainly well down on the depth chart at the moment and has never really been in favor with the club, but it wasn't too long ago that he was a very highly regarded prospect and he is still just 25 years old. Were Davies to end up with Birmingham City I think it's a move we could regret as there's undeniably a fair amount of promise still evident. Given that CB is a deep position for the club at the moment the tendency is towards looking at Davies' impact on the wages, but there's still a reasonably good chance that Richard Dunne will leave the club at the end of the season and given what we went through with strikers earlier in the season a position of strength can become one of weakness in quite a hurry. Much like Ireland though Davies leaving the club permanently wouldn't necessarily upset me, but I'd really prefer that he not head across the city. He might not be good enough to be a key player at Villa, but he certainly might be good enough to become a key player for the Blues.
In the last bit of solid news, Hull City have extended their loan of Brad Guzan for another month. Given that Villa are down now to two senior goalkeepers in Brad Friedel and Andy Marshall (in whose case 'senior' is a bit generous) this strikes me as a bit of a surprise and likely indicative of Little Brad's standing with Villa. Guzan has been asking for first-team football for a while now and if he's getting that at Hull and Villa are known to be pursuing other options, it would appear as though the writing is on the wall. Of course it's also possible that Villa are treating Guzan's time at Hull as an audition for an expanded role next season. We'll find out soon enough I suppose.
Finally, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the rumors floating around about Villa be interested in Tottenham Hotspur attacking midfielder Jermaine Jenas. This one has been making its way around Twitter and other circles this morning after appearing in a couple of places not worth linking to. Needless to say, I'm skeptical of this one. This seems to be a case of seeing that Jenas is not getting much time with Spurs and seeing also that Villa appear to be out of the running for Charlie Adam and connecting dots. The difference though is that in addition to being a lot better than Jenas, Adam is two years younger as well. At least part of the appeal behind Charlie Adam is that he fills a hole while Barry Bannan develops and can still net a nice return on investment once it's time for Bazza to step in full time. That's not the case with Jenas and I'm skeptical that he's any sort of an upgrade over what Villa have in-house at the moment. If a more reputable source begins reporting this we will of course keep you updated, but for now I'd recommend ignoring it.