So here's a report that you can choose to take any way you want. According to the Mail, Barcelona winger Adama Traore is set for a medical with Aston Villa today. The move would be the final step in sealing the transfer of the 19-year-old wunderkind who has made a name for himself playing on the right wing of Barcelona B. And cobbled together with all of the other stuff we've been seeing, this report seems pretty believable.
But there's one problem: the price. The Mail are saying that the move is a £12 million one, which directly contradicts their own earlier report (citing a £4.2 million buy-out clause) and the statement of Barcelona's Sporting Director (who said that Traore has a €6 millon clause).
So why are they now running a story saying that £12 million is the price? I can think of only two possible explanations. The first is the one that seems the quickest to jump to: the Mail are just making stuff up at this point. They do that. It's pretty standard, in fact.
But my suspicion here comes from the fact that they link to their earlier £4.2 million report in today's piece. So are they trying to bullshit us while literally handing us the evidence? Or, is this something that has been misreported all along. Perhaps the £4.2/€6 figure wasn't actually a buy-out clause, but rather Barcelona's asking price. Maybe there has been a confusion of terminology here.
The only reason I'm willing to consider this (and not jump immediately and head-first onto "The Mail is lying" bandwagon) is the fact that this deal has always been reported as having a buy-back clause attached to it. Perhaps £12 million is what Villa are offering, and if so I think it would be safe to assume that a buy-back clause is off the table.
I lean a bit more towards "bad Mail" here, but it's such an odd lie to tell that I have to wonder if perhaps it's not wrong at all. Nevertheless, whatever way you cut it, it's good news that this deal is still making the rounds in the press. No one has said it's off, yet, so I think we can assume it's still on.
And hey, if it's £4.2 or £12 million, it's not our money. Traore would make Aston Villa better, and if Randy Lerner is willing to spend to do that, I'm okay with it.