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Could 'The Rock' be on his way to Aston Villa?

Elche defensive midfielder and Colombian international Carlos Sánchez has made the transition from Twitter rumour to Tabloid rumour. But will he make the move to B6?

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Carlos Sánchez challenges Theofanis Gekas for the ball during Colombia's opening World Cup match against Greece.
Carlos Sánchez challenges Theofanis Gekas for the ball during Colombia's opening World Cup match against Greece.
Quinn Rooney

We know all too well about the dangers of putting too much trust in Twitter rumours and after the signing of Aly Cissokho late in the week, focus shifted to whether or not Villa were after Elche defensive midfielder Carlos Sánchez. And today, those Twitter rumours have morphed into Tabloid rumours with the Telegraph reporting that Villa are in talks to sign the Colombian international.

And in addition to the Telegraph's report, Spanish football tabloid AS also linked Villa with Sánchez, claiming that his days are done at Elche and that sources at the club have confirmed interest and that the player might travel to Birmingham to know the offer first-hand. And while the article mentions a €2 million release clause to be paid to Elche, Sánchez's rights seem to be partially held by a third-party entity. We talked a little while back about the morality of third-party player ownership when Tevfik Araf was brought in and while we won't get too much into that here, it explains the discrepancy between the €2 million price tag quoted by AS and the £4 million one quoted by the Telegraph.

As far as the player goes, he's a defensive midfielder (sounds good), nicknamed 'The Rock' (sounds even better), and started and went the full 90 minutes in four of Colombia's five World Cup matches (this is the greatest thing ever!). And at 28 years old, he both can provide experience to the side while not being as old as some of Villa's other signings this summer, much like Cissokho.

On the pitch, having a strong defensive midfielder would likely do wonders for Villa. Not only would Sánchez be able to provide cover for the defensive line but his presence would let Fabian Delph play more as a box-to-box midfielder, getting forward and making runs without having to worry about leaving the back four exposed if Ashley Westwood is the other man in the centre of the park. It'd be a move that helps Villa at both the front and the back by bridging the gap in the middle, something desperately needed. Paul Lambert's side was overrun far too often in midfield last year due to an inability to win and keep possession. A strong presence on the ball would be great for the side, especially if Lambert is eager to move away from over-reliance on long balls as Villa's preseason performances would seem to indicate.

And on the financial side of things, a £4 million move for Sánchez seems to be fairly plausible, especially with last week's reports that Randy Lerner was making another £10 million available to Paul Lambert to use before the close of the window. The £4 million fee is also the same one we've heard Swansea are asking for Ki Sung-Yeung and quite frankly, I'd prefer a move for Sánchez over one for Ki.

It's far from a done deal but it's looking more likely than it was 24 hours ago. We'll have to see if the likeliness of the deal getting done increases or if Villa really never had any interest in the player at all.

UPDATE: The thought is that Villa are in the best position to sign Sánchez as their offer would seem to be considerably farther along than those from other clubs interested in the Colombian, reportedly QPR and Everton. The guys over at Inside Spanish Football have some quotes from Sánchez, the lead of which confirms there's been interest in the player from other teams so this isn't completely coming out of the blue. But, of course, he was sure to point out that there was nothing concrete on the table; however, if Villa have put something out there, it could definitely change the game.

UPDATE (14/8): The Mirror have reported that there seem to be some "minor details" that need to be worked out before the deal is confirmed but belief still holds that Sánchez will sign for Villa, hopefully in the next 24 hours. It appears that the Colombian version of MARCA has put La Roca on today's cover, calling him their "favorite villan." The cover indicates that Sánchez will sign a four-year deal and points out some other ancillary facts.