Having been awoken at 5am by a strange light flooding through my window, I've had plenty of time to round up some Villa bits and pieces for y'all.
First, of course, is the news that Manchester City's bid for James has been rejected. We all know this--but I wanted to use this touching image to show why it's going to take more than just £20 million to wrest Milner away from Martin. James has given O'Neill much of the credit for his improved play over the past two years, including his move from the wing to central midfield that showed off his crazy talents and has all of our rivals salivating. You can find stories about the rejection here, here, and a laughable one here, which suggests Barry has blossomed at City--but does give us the lovely photo.
Second, who wants to go to Portugal after the World Cup? I know I wish I had a few more frequent flier miles and a free hotel room. Aston Villa will be participating in the Guadiana Cup, which occurs from July 30-August 1. They'll be playing the Dutch club Feyenoord on July 31, and the Portuguese side Benfica, most recently known for tromping MLS club New England Revolution 4-0 yesterday. Oh, and I guess they won Portuguese Liga, but when does that not happen? Randy Lerner has said American Villa fans have almost no chance of seeing their beloved claret and blue on our soil, so why not take a trip to sunny Portugal?
Third, Sky Sports is reporting that Villa are interested in David Bentley, the Spurs winger, which I'm sure will lead to many puns involving luxury vehicles. Although Bentley was previously hailed as a sparkly player for the future, he hasn't seen regular playing time at Spurs, and failed to impress Fabio Capello. As an addition to our squad, he'd likely be fine, but as a replacement for Milner, inadequate. Perhaps MON just really likes collecting players with pretty crossing skills? Or guys who have previously played for Blackburn?