Today in "Sky Sports understands...", Aston Villa are said to be considering a move for former Birmingham City defender Scott Dann, currently plying his trade with Blackburn Rovers. A possible move for Dann was something of a consolation prize for many Villa fans when Alex McLeish was hired, and bringing in the 24-year-old center back would almost certainly provide an upgrade to Villa's defense.
As with most transfer rumors however, there's plenty of reason to take this one with a massive grain of salt; let's not forget, Dann moved to Blackburn in the summer for a reported transfer fee of £6m. Unless there's been a change in policy of which we haven't been made aware, Villa doesn't have that kind of money to spend during the January window. Some of it could be raised through the sale of James Collins (or if the report is to be believed Collins could act as a make weight in a direct deal for Dann), but unless someone gets a lot looser with their checkbook than is reasonable to expect there would still be a gap of at least a few million McLeish would need to track down. That's assuming Rovers are willing to let Dann leave for the same fee they paid just six months ago. Given the seemingly imminent departure of Christopher Samba and Rovers tenuous top-flight position, I'm skeptical that would be the case.
I'd love a move for Dann; he and Ciaran Clark could be a formidable center back pairing for years to come, and if Villa could bring him in while simultaneously cutting ties with Collins then all the better. Unfortunately, I have a hard time seeing it come to fruition. There's been every indication that this is a year for financial re-balancing and Randy Lerner agreeing to free up several million pounds to bring in a player at a position where Villa aren't in dire need of an upgrade would be a pretty huge departure from what we've seen and heard from the club in recent days. That's not to say I couldn't see it happening; it's certainly plausible. I just wouldn't hold my breath.