One of the major stories making the rounds these past few days has been Aston Villa's rumored interest in Wolverhampton Wanderers striker Steven Fletcher. On the face of things, it's not especially crazy; Fletcher is a big, physical forward, the kind of player that would make a solid partner for Darren Bent. He's also reasonably skillful and in his early prime. I don't really think anyone would be all that opposed to that kind of player joining the team, and I'm fairly certain Paul Lambert can be safely included in that group.
But when the dollar amount being thrown around is revealed, that's when this whole thing begins to look ridiculous. £13 million, for Steven Fletcher? With Paul Lambert in charge? That seems unlikely, for multiple reasons; for one, Lambert probably doesn't have £13 million to spend. For two, he's demonstrated quite effectively that buying overvalued players from the English league system when significantly cheaper analogues are available elsewhere is not really his bag. And then, when you begin to dig a bit, and discover that the first real mention of this rumor came from a Sunderland fan forum post in which an anonymous commentor said he'd heard about it on a radio station, you'll be forgiven for allowing your eyes to gloss over and your mind to wander to other, more pressing issues, like continental drift.
Now, I'm not saying that Fletcher isn't interesting to Villa, and I'm not even saying with absolute certainty that Lambert hasn't made a £13 million offer for him. But given the evidence at hand, I really, really, really doubt that there's any truth to this. Which is more plausible? That an anonymous guy on a forum parrots (or makes up) a completely baseless rumor that makes zero sense in context, which is then picked up by people who understand how SEO works? Or that Paul Lambert, who has spent approximately £2.50 on three new starting-quality players and has a few holes left to fill is going to blow a sum of money that pretty much everyone agrees is ridiculous on Steven Fletcher?
I'm all for gossip, and speculation, and even a little bit of wishful reading of tea leaves. But this is just silly. Until something a little more plausible comes down the pike, I'd say everyone would be most well served by completely ignoring this rumor.