Premier League – Paper Round: Villa demand £80m for Young

Aston Villa‘s new manager Gerard Houllier has slapped an £80 million price tag on Ashley Young – despite the fact that he has just 18 months left on his contract.

The Daily Mail reports that Manchester United and Liverpool are both reportedly interested in signing the winger, adding that while Young is happy at Villa Park he could be swayed by a move to a bigger club.
Houllier is determined to hang on to Young unless he can get a silly money price, something that seems increasingly unlikely considering that his star player is yet to agree a new deal.
Club owner Randy Lerner‘s tight purse strings appeared to provoke Martin O’Neill’s exit over the summer, so a cash boost would be welcome: this could be the big saga to keep an eye on in January.
Wayne Rooney‘s apology to Manchester United fans over his contract saga is the back page lead of both The Sun and the Daily Mirror this morning.
If reading that gives you a feeling of déjà vu then you’re not alone: that was Paper Round’s first reaction, and Rooney himself thinks we’ve been here before.
“I feel like I have apologised to the fans,” said Rooney, “but everyone keeps saying I haven’t.
“If that’s the case, then I apologise for my side of things.”
We thought he had as well, but in a (very) rare moment of investigative journalism we did a bit of checking around and it seems that he hadn’t: the “Rooney apologises” headlines you may remember from a few weeks ago (October 22, specifically) came after Alex Ferguson said that Rooney had apologised to his fellow players, “and will also do so with the supporters.”
One month and four days later it has finally happened.
Arsene Wenger‘s Arsenal scouts have been foiled in their latest attempt to unearth teenage talent, with Dinamo Zagreb having apparently turned down a £16.9m double bid for 18-year-old full-back Sime Vrsaljko and 16-year-old midfielder Mateo Kovacic, according to the Daily Mail.
The Mail also reports that Birmingham City are to make a £2m move for Swedish striker Denni Avdic, a 22-year-old who apparently has “been earning rave reviews” for IF Elsborg.
And finally, while the rest of football seems to be acknowledging Tottenham as genuine contenders for the Champions League, Daily Mirror columnist Robbie Savage is not so convinced that Spurs can mix it with the big boys in the long term.
“If Spurs are champions within the next 10 years I will walk down Seven Sisters Road in only my Armani Y-fronts, holding a banner reading: ‘I was wrong’,” the former Birmingham and Blackburn midfielder writes.
In that same tongue-in-cheek spirit, Paper Round will make its own similarly bold statement: in 10 years time, if anyone even vaguely remembers, much less gives a stuff, what Robbie Savage wrote about Spurs in November 2010 then we too will walk down a main London thoroughfare clad only in our underwear.
No doubt the people clad in futuristic Bacofoil suits will fall off their hover scooters in alarm at the sight.

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