For a few hours, Aston Villa fans had hope. Hope that maybe a young, exciting, creative midfielder would be joining -- and on the cheap.
Then up stepped Guillem Balague, talking this time on Sky Sports, not via his Twitter account. The Spanish journalist said that Sergio Canales had spoken to Aston Villa and he'd turned them down, flat. That's the story Sky Sports are continuing to run with.
Now, we've already given you our opinion on Mr. Balague. But it makes sense: Canales was always likely to be a long shot. Prying him away from Spain would be tough, particularly when considering the low taxes of Basque Country, meaning he's keeping the vast majority of what he's earning. Plus, it could very well have been just a bargaining chip to force Tom Cleverley to stop fooling around.
But there are still some vague murmurings about Sky being wrong, and about Canales not having rejected the deal. Stan Collymore mentioned that Villa were still speaking to both Canales and Cleverley, although he hasn't said anything more in the past hour. Others are suggesting that Villa haven't been turned down at all. Even if he's not heading to Villa, it's quite possible Canales never dismissed the club, not in the manner that has fans' noses so out of joint.
What we do know is that the lights are still on at Bodymoor. It's Cleverley that's looking the more likely, and it's wise to not hope for Canales. But it was fun there, for awhile.