If a grainy photo showing someone who looks like they might possibly be Fabian Delph is to be believed, the Villa captain and England midfielder may be on the move after all. The photo in question shows someone who does bear a striking resemblance to Delph entering a building (hospital?) for something (a medical?). But that's all we have. One grainy photo that doesn't show a face and a whole lot of speculation.
So, don't panic yet. But, if the rumours are true this could be a crushing emotional blow for the club. Given the fact that many of us had written off Delph last Friday, his decision to stay felt like a new signing. We allowed ourselves to start dreaming of a midfield with both him and Idrissa Gueye. And after he issued a statement last Saturday about committing his future to Aston Villa, many of us bought into his loyalty to the club. Loyalty doesn't mean anything right now, and being more or less loyal to a club does not make you a better or worse person, but it's undeniable that a significant part of the fan base thinks differently. Then there is the money. Delph has the potential, with another excellent season leading Villa, to be selling for upwards of £20 million, but would be leaving for a mere £8 million.
The questions have been asked to the point of redundancy regarding why Delph's release clause was so low, but for the situation Villa found itself in this January, Delph had all the leverage, and it was a small miracle that he signed the new contract in the first place. Delph led the team onto the Wembely Stadium pitch just a few weeks ago. Delph genuinely has the potential to be Villa's leader for the coming years while solidifying himself as a regular England international, and while he progressed, his wages would have increased, but likely not to the heights that Manchester City are undoubtedly offering him.
But again. One grainy photo, and a whole lot of speculation. Some of the speculation is coming from people I trust a lot, but it's still speculation. Let's not jump to conclusions yet.