The Birmingham Mail is reporting that Aston Villa has accepted an undisclosed bid for midfielder Barry Bannan. The 23-year-old midfielder has fallen well down the pecking order after being a regular for most of the 2011-12 season and towards the beginning of Paul Lambert's tenure. Bannan will be out of contract after the upcoming season and though the fee Villa receive will not likely be breaking any transfer records, it's certainly preferable to get something for a player that isn't in the manager's plans than to let him continue to collect a paycheck and walk away for free.
This isn't really how things were supposed to turn out for Bannan. A highly touted prospect that established himself in Villa's first team under Gerard Houllier, Bannan was supposed to be one of the building blocks for the future. In the early days of his Premier League career, Gary McAllister made references to players no less than Xavi and Andres Iniesta when speaking of Bannan's potential. There were holes in his game to be certain, but the potential was there for all to see.
Unfortunately, Bannan never really got any better. If anything, he got worse. He also got popped for driving while intoxicated, and after falling out of the regular rotation under Lambert took to social media to complain about his fortunes. The writing's been on the wall for awhile now, and even though I still have a certain kind of affection for Bannan it's neither unexpected nor all that upsetting to see him go. He might live up to his potential one day, but he was never going to do it in a Villa shirt. Maybe he's the one person in the world for whom a move to Blackburn might actually work out.