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Aston Villa gracefully bow out of race for Tottenham transfer target

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Seeing that Tottenham were interested in Steven Defour, Aston Villa have behaved in a polite manner and gracefully bowed out of the race for the FC Porto midfielder.

Scott Heavey

Paul Lambert has said that Aston Villa will not be signing Belgium international and FC Porto midfielder Steven Defour, despite rumours of interest from the player's agent. Presumably, this is a gesture of kindness, an olive branch if you will, to Tottenham, who are also keen to secure the playmaker's services. Tottenham have had loads of trouble signing players on their severely restricted budget, so this is a very gentlemanly move from Lambert, who has again handled himself with nothing but class.

In reality, it probably is a reflection of Tottenham's interest. With Spurs in on the Defour chase, his price likely climbed beyond what Lambert and Aston Villa were willing to pay. It seems as if this is becoming a pattern, as Tottenham bully their way into the market, splash some cash, and scare everyone away. Then again, this may have been a situation where an agent said something to drum up attention and Villa were never interested in the first place.

Oh well. Aston Villa will have to look elsewhere for midfield help, but Lambert does say that he's looking for "a number 10." So at least he recognizes the need.