While there is very little major news today, there are certainly a few interesting things out there worth giving your attention to. The transfer window has officially opened, in case you missed that, and we're now one week away from players returning to Bodymoor Heath for training. Below, we've got a couple of bits on transfers, irritated parents, and Alex McLeish's latest attempt at playing Monopoly. To the links!
- It is looking more and more likely that Carlos Cuellar will return to Aston Villa next season and play out the remainder of his contract. Rangers have apparently offered 1.5 million for the Spaniard only to have been rebuffed by McLeish. Even if Villa were to let Cuellar go, 1.5 million seems a bit low to me. Nevertheless, I'm excited for the prospect of seeing more Carlos next season.
- Aston Villa seem prepared to offer 9 million for Wigan's Charles N'Zogbia, according to Wigan Today. The article states that Villa are ready to make a bid for the "Flying Frenchman," which, if true, I feel merits more than 9 million pounds. Just imagine if we had a levitating winger! He could corral Heskey's shots back onto the pitch!
- Aston Villa will be sending a U-19 to the first-ever NextGen Series this year. This was the first I had heard of NextGen, but it sounds fascinating. 16 teams sponsored by some of Europe's best clubs (including Barcelona, Ajax, PSV Eindhoven and more) will compete in a Champions League-style tournament. This Q&A from the Daily Mail is quite informative. I'm looking forward to seeing how Villa do in European play this year.
- The Birmingham Mail has news that Aston Villa are being criticized by a parents group for selling youth kits (including shorts and socks) that are the highest priced in the Premier League. Granted, 63 pounds does seem a bit excessive (~$100 for we Americans), but are you really going to listen to an advocacy group named Mumsnet? Didn't Arnold Schwarzenegger battle them in Terminator?
- Finally, Alex McLeish has apparently sold a hotel in Scotland in which he had a stake. I bring this up not because it really matters, but because who here pictured Alex McLeish as a real estate investor?
That's it for today. We will, of course, post as news merits. Have a fine weekend, and thanks as always for reading!