Since we first saw him play for Villa this year, a lot of fans have been wanting Ryan Bertrand to make his loan move from Chelsea permanent. It made sense, really. Bertrand wanted regular playing time, and thanks to a backlog of left-backs at Stamford Bridge, he probably wasn't going to get it there. He's a well-above-average talent, but perhaps not so great that he really fits in with the team who have enough money to buy anything.
But for Villa, he is a perfect fit. We can't be quite as picky as the Chelseas of the world, and a well-above-average talent at left back looks pretty darn good. I don't think anyone was suffering under delusions that Bertrand would come cheaply, but give the rotating cavalcade of players Villa have had in the position, something in the region of £8 million made a lot of sense.
But a piece in the Daily Mail makes it seem pretty unlikely that Bertrand will be staying around Birmingham. First off, there is the straight-up denial that Villa will have any chance: "Villa’s financial situation means a permanent switch to Birmingham for Bertrand, who has a house with his Brazilian girlfriend and two-year-old daughter in Surrey, is unlikely." Alright, fair enough. But there is reason to believe that the financial situation may very well change over the summer. In itself: not damning.
Add to that, though, the fact that in a pretty extensive article Bertrand never brings up the possibility of staying himself, and suddenly the hope of that happening looks pretty slim. There is plenty of talk of going somewhere where he can be a regular starter. Bertrand is clearly an ambitious, though not immodest, footballer. But even though Villa could provide those starts, they don't really meet another of his criteria:
"If I was to leave Chelsea I want to stay within the best teams in the Premier League. To keep my own ambitions to progress and play for England I need to be right up there, playing consistently at a decent level."
Oh. Yeah. Well, we're pretty decent Ryan. I mean, definitely one of the top 20 sides in England. Thats got to be worth something, right?
Probably not, which means that Villa are going to need to add a Left Back to their already long summer shopping list. Antonio Luna and Joe Bennett are not going to cut it next year.