So this happened tonight, breaking Villa Twitter:
The deal is... Delph to #lfc with Borini in permanently and Ibe on loan - plus £12m. It's being discussed - but unlikely.— Jonny Gould (@jonnygould) June 22, 2015
I generally would consider Gould to be the type of guy who’s reliable enough to not spew complete crap around, so… that’s something?
At the very least though, he’s said it‘s "being discussed," but also "unlikely."
While Fabio Borini only appeared 12 times for Liverpool last year and scored just once — at Villa Park, of course — he was the subject of drama last summer when he rejected a £12-million move to the Stadium of Light, opting instead to fight for his place at Anfield.
Of course, that came on the heels of a 2013-14 campaign on loan at Sunderland where the Italian striker netted seven times in the league and 10 overall, and with time still on his side — he’s only 24 — he becomes an interesting prospect.
He’ll be on his way out from Liverpool regardless this summer, with his agent saying he "feels like a lion in a cage," and stating that the player "just wants a team that gives him a clear chance to prove himself."
It means that a move to Villa for the player wouldn’t be anywhere near being out of the question, and outside of a swap deal, it’s unlikely he’d cost a prohibitive amount; his contract expires in 12 months.
With the club likely searching for a new striker and the thought they’ll pursue young, "hungry" players, Borini would seem on the surface to be a fit for the club.
But in a swap deal, a lot goes out the window.
And that’s why I don’t really like this move.
If a club came along and offered a proven Premier League commodity and £12 million for Fabian Delph, I might be a little more inclined to get behind it.
But Borini still has just one full season in the league under his belt, not to mention the fact that Delph has four years left on his contract he signed in January.
In all actuality, this deal would probably give Villa a fair transfer "value" for Delph — around £25 million once one factors in the valuation of Borini (~£10-12m), which I’m sure we could certainly quibble on, and the value of a loan move for 19-year-old winger Jordan Ibe.
But it must be considered what the true value of Delph is to the club. It might be a fair deal, but selling your club captain perhaps isn’t the best way to go about doing business with an early, vital start to the season.
Over the past two years, Delph has become a full England international at Villa Park, and is becoming one of the country’s best midfielders. He’s loved by the fans, and is the type of player you can build around.
At the same point in time, a highly-rated striker and £12 million is nothing to scoff at.
It’s a deal that’s probably not too far off from being fair — and of course, perspective should remind us that six months ago, we all thought Villa were getting nothing for him — but one that probably doesn’t make the most sense for the club.
Interest in Borini, however, could become seen again if Manchester City’s deal for Raheem Sterling goes through, handing Liverpool money they could spend in a potential move for Christian Benteke.
The Belgian striker’s release clause is believed to be £32.5 million, but if the club’s smart, they should realize movement needs to occur this window, be it from a contract extension or a sale; Benteke’s deal expires in 24 months, and if nothing happens this summer, the club will be left in the same position they were with Delph and Ron Vlaar to start this season.
Perhaps a bid of £20 million and Borini could tempt Tim Sherwood into selling Benteke?
We’ll see how that saga — as well as this one — plays out over time.
And with Delph, there’s also this tweet from Gould, which is weird:
This came from a genuine phone call involving Tim Sherwood to an agent just now. I wouldn't BS you, #avfc peeps.— Jonny Gould (@jonnygould) June 22, 2015
In the meantime, while I don’t think this is a great move for Villa, I don’t think it’s as bad as many might make it out to be.
Still, let’s keep in mind Gould mentioned "unlikely" in his tweet, and not let this ruin our evening too much.
What valuation would you put on Delph? Let us know in the comments!