Aston Villa Bulgaria: Tonev may be closer, Popov may be a target

Michael Regan

Over the weekend, Villa reportedly came closer to a deal with Aleksander Tonev and have expressed interest in fellow Bulgarian Ivelin Popov.

I'm starting to think that Aston Villa lied to us about what Stiliyan Petrov would be doing for the club. Given the rumors that keep popping up, I think it's more likely that Stan is head of Bulgarian scouting rather than a youth development assistant. Over the weekend, it seems that Aleksander Tonev, who we first discussed on Thursday, may have come closer to becoming a Villan. His Polish club, Lech Poznan, apparently accepted Aston Villa's £2.5 million bid for the Bulgarian winger, according to The Sun. I've not been able to find much that confirms that, so let this be your reminder: we are in silly season and 75% of what gets reported never happens. Plus, even if this is real, Sky reports that Werder Bremen are now also vying for Tonev's services.

Elsewhere, Villa have been linked to another Bulgarian national midfielder. This time it's Ivelin Popov, who currently plays for Russia's Kuban Krasnodar, for whom he scored 9 goals in 23 appearances this year. The club finished 5th in the Russian Premier League, and will be playing in the Europa league next year. He's also a regular for the Bulgarian national team, finding the back of the net 7 times in 40 appearances since 2007.

This link is even more tenuous than the Tonev one, though.In the meantime, while we wait to get some better news, take a look at this highlight package of Popov. He's wearing number 9.

Again, heaven only knows what may come of this. I can't imagine either player would cost too much, and from what I can find it'd be great to have them at Villa. But I'm not getting my hopes up yet.

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