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The rumour mill churns and grinds once again

Now that Christian Benteke has handed in his transfer request, Aston Villa will inevitably be linked with every want-away/underperforming/unhappy on the bench forward in England. Here's Friday's scoop.

Mike Hewitt

Step right up and spin the wheel! Go on, give it a whirl, let's see where it lands...oooh, and today, the pointer has stopped on ... Demba Ba. Yep, the chatter surrounding Aston Villa is all about Chelsea selling Ba as a replacement for Christian Benteke. Which is, quite frankly, ridiculous.

First of all, this rumor seems to have originated in the Daily Star, who are claiming that Paul Lambert wants Ba -- which is either a statement conjured out of thin air or something they've twisted from the last transfer window. My money's on the first: an almost 30-year-old whose "proven Premier League experience" will no doubt increase his transfer fee, well, that's not exactly the type Lambert is going for. Then there's likely to be a wages issue as well, and considering Villa are trying to free themselves from exorbitant wages, taking on another high bill just seems foolish.

From the other side, why would Chelsea even want to sell Ba? The forward was a regular in Rafa Benitez's side, earning 11 league starts and 3 appearances from the bench since joining from Newcastle in January. Of course, he only scored 2 goals, compared to his 13 in the first half of the season, but that's not enough of a reason for Ba to not figure into Jose Mourinho's plans.

Because remember this: Fernando Torres is Chelsea's other striker.

Case closed. Rumour dismissed.