In an attempt to clear some of the deadwood from the wage bill, Aston Villa will allow Premier League newcomers Middlesbrough to take Brad Guzan off their hands free of charge. The original report is from John Percy for The Telegraph.
Guzan, the starting US National team goalkeeper, has been at Villa since August 2008, making 171 appearances across all competitions. In the Premier League for the Villans, he's played in 144 games, keeping 27 clean sheets while allowing 241 goals.
Boro will be hoping the 31-year-old is still yet to reach his prime, hoping he peaks later in his career like other Americans Brad Friedel or Tim Howard. He'll be backing up/competing for the starting spot with former Manchester United netminder Victor Valdes.
Many Villa fans will be glad to be rid of Guzan, even for nothing. Seen (sometimes unfairly) as the reason for the failure that culminated in relegation last season, it's hard to deny he played a crucial role in keeping the club afloat in the top flight in previous years, like when he was voted Villa's player of the season after the 2012-13 season.
Still, dumping Guzan to free up wages is smart, and a backup capable of providing competition for new signing Pierluigi Gollini is necessary. The number two keeper will probably earn about a fifth of what Guzan did.
What do you think about the move? Are you happy to see Brad go, or do you think he was unfairly criticised? Let us know in the comments!