Most fans of Aston Villa were likely fully prepared for the winter transfer deadline to pass with nary a peep from the club, so it was a bit of a surprise (to say the least) when news broke that 22-year-old Clermont Foot midfielder Yacouba Sylla has agreed to a move to Birmingham. That was unexpected in it's own right, but it has since emerged that Paul Lambert is hoping to land another signing before the window closes at 11:00 PM local time. That's great news and all, but it's also pretty vague. Does Darren Bent have to move first, with Kenwyne Jones being the man the gaffer hopes to land? Are the funds available dependent upon players going out? Could Villa make more than one move if the dominoes fall into place? No one knows! That's why you're here, right?
Unfortunately, I don't really know either. But there are rumors out there, and it's entirely possible that one (maybe more!) of them is not complete and total B.S. Below is a somewhat comprehensive list of what's currently out there, the better for you to make up your mind as to whether the season will be saved or your desired whereabouts of Randy Lerner. As things emerge we'll keep you posted, but for now here's a few things to feed keep you satiated.
- Stoke City is interested in Darren Bent, with Kenwyne Jones being offered as a make-weight. Charlie Adam's name has been mentioned as well, which would be preferable from my perspective but doesn't seem to be as likely.
- Aston Villa is interested in 27-year-old Porto defender Rolando. QPR is reportedly interested as well, but it looks as though he's likely to choose a loan move to Napoli (if he hasn't already.) It's hard to blame him.
- Mohamed Diame might be going somewhere. That somewhere might be Aston Villa. It probably isn't.
- Lots of people on Twitter think Aston Villa will be signing Florent Malouda. They will not.
- A smaller number of people (but still a lot of them) think Aston Villa will be signing Javier Saviola. They will not.
Personally, I think the Bent to Stoke link is the one to keep an eye on. Bent was crafted by the hand of god to play striker for the Potters, Paul Lambert clearly doesn't want him and that seems like the domino that needs to fall in order to get things moving. Stoke likely needs to move either Peter Crouch or Kenwyne Jones in order to make room for Bent and I can't really see Lambert being interested in either player, so a whole lot may need to happen in order for things to come together. But I could see some interesting things happening if it does.
I'm very much hoping Paul Lambert is looking to bolster the defense, with my priorities being a left back and center back in that order. Joe Bennett is a talented prospect with some very real upside, but he's out of his depth playing full back at this level right now. Unfortunately, good left backs are really expensive and really hard to find, so that's problematic. As much as I'd love to see a winger brought in, Lambert doesn't seem especially interesting in wide midfield players, and even if Bent moves I feel pretty comfortable with Villa's striker situation. But given the way things are right now, good players--no matter their position--would be a welcome sight. And if Aston Villa sign any of them, we will certainly let you know.
As a bonus, SBNation Studios has put together a video discussing the January transfer window for Europe at large. It's embedded below.