Welcome to the links post! We've done this in the past, but we're going to make a more concerted effort to bring you a batch of links every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. There tends to be so much news, and so many rumors, that we can't cover them all in-depth. So this will serve as our way of making sure we send the most interesting bits on to you. Let's dive in!
- We're getting more reliable reports now that Aston Villa are on the verge of signing Manchester City keeper Shay Given for somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 million pounds. The Birmingham Mail tells us that City are eager to recoup their 7 million fee that they originally paid for Given, but their chances of getting all of that are slim, I think. The Express and Star claims that a move is nowhere near done, however. Despite my desire to see this position filled quickly, I think McLeish would do well to see if there is any chance of snagging Rob Green or Ali Al Habsi (I doubt it).
- Apparently Alex McLeish has decided that he wants to see Carlos Cuellar in training before he gives the Spaniard to Rangers. I know most Villa fans would love it if this proved to be true. And for the team, I think it would be a wise move. Maybe injuries have taken something off of Carlos, but I still think he could provide solid support in the team's weakest unit. In related news, I want to show you this story (that you can't read in full without registering) merely for the sake of alerting you to the fact that there is a player named Nacho Novo.
- The Daily Express has the most abbreviated article I have ever seen about Villa's interest in Wigan winger Charles N'Zogbia. Is he a replacement for Stewart Downing, should the England winger leave? Not an equal one at least. But he would be something, and I imagine that he could provide good enough service for scoring machine Darren Bent.
- Finally, make sure you check out Aaron's excellent write-up of the Diego rumor, Slaky's fantastic piece on how to deal with the apparent loss of many of Villa's key players, and Kirsten's call for information from the hinterlands of Italy. And be sure to stop by the Women's World Cup open thread. It's soccer! In the summer!