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Toon eyeing Villa raid?

According to reports, Newcastle have set their sights on two of Aston Villa's key young players in an effort to strengthen after a difficult campaign.

Tony Marshall

According to a report from the Daily Mirror, Newcastle boss Alan Pardew is interested in bringing Fabian Delph and Andreas Weimann to Tyneside over the summer, with a rumored price tag of £15 million for the pair. Such a move would create serious problems for Villa, who saw Delph finally begin to reach his potential in a breakout season for the young midfielder and would surely be reluctant to part with Weimann at such a young age and after a season during which his value did little but decrease.

Interestingly, Weimann's value is given as £9 million, meaning his transfer fee would make up a majority of the £15 million total. One would think that Delph, who is still yet to enter the typical prime years for a central midfielder and performed at an above-average level this season would be the more valuable asset in any such deal. This would seem to be one of many reasons to be skeptical of this report.

The Mirror being the Mirror, it's unlikely that there's no truth to Newcastle's interest in either player, but it's similarly unlikely that said interest is as concrete as it's made to sound. And though £15 million is likely a more than reasonable fee for the pair in terms of pure market value, Villa's squad construction and still in-progress rebuilding project means they're likely worth far more to the club than said market value. Newcastle certainly need additions to both central midfield and striker, but only Delph would be a clear regular given their current squad; if the Toon go hard for Delph it could cause some problems, but their striker situation is in far too dire a condition to be solved by Weimann.

In short: yes, Pardew and Newcastle probably likes both players. It's almost a certainty that there are more clubs in the Premier League that could use them than not. But that's not quite the same thing as being actively pursuing them, and until someone other than the Mirror picks up on this independently, it's probably reasonable to go ahead and ignore it.