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Jermain Defoe And Kenwyne Jones: How Transfer Rumours Work

The big transfer "news" of the day has been Paul Lambert's "expressed admiration" for Tottenham's Jermain Defoe and Stoke City's Kenywyne Jones. Both players have been connected to Villa at other points, but Lambert's statements today seem to offer confirmation that the new Villa manager is actively pursuing the duo.

Except, of course, that it doesn't. If you look at the actual context, it's significantly more ambiguous; Lambert is asked a direct question about Villa's interest in the players, and in response he praises them in general terms and goes on to talk about how a club of Villa's size will always be connected to good players and that managers are always looking to strengthen their teams. To me, it seemed like a pretty stock response on two counts; the "really good different types of players" comment is about as meaninglessly praiseful as one can get, and Lambert segued almost directly into the same thing he's said almost every time he's asked about transfer targets.

That's not how it's being spun of course, because "Paul Lambert Is Asked About Transfer Targets, Says Nothing" isn't an interesting story at all. And it's easy to see why Villa would be interested in adding both at least to some degree. But when Lambert was asked about Matthew Lowton, Karim El Ahmadi, and Ron Vlaar he was significantly more forward in his responses, and going after players like Defoe and Jones would be a departure from his transfer strategy so far.

As I'm fond of saying, none of this proves that Lambert isn't going after Defoe and/or Jones. He very well could be. But there's also nothing in his statements to suggest that he is going after them, either. It's yet another example of segments of the media (some of which ought to know better) making something out of nothing and running with it. When Lambert starts shutting down or opening up to inquiries about players, that might change things. Until then, feel free to assume his sights are elsewhere.