News: Begovic £10m BID, Wilkins IN, Vlaar FREE, #LFC New Benteke BID – #AVFC

All the latest developments, news and rumour concerning Aston Villa:

Strong and growing rumour surrounding the future of Stoke’s Asmir Begovic with bookies slashing their prices on him both leaving – the likeliest destination apparently being Villa Park.  

Villa are definitely in the market for a top stopper, with Shay Given a veteran and Brad Guzan struggling for form for most of last season.  Begovic may yet receive offers from clubs challenging at the top end of the table, or within Europe, but Villa may yet be able to lure the Bosnian ‘keeper.  

Villa hold former Norwich goalkeeper Jed Steer as another reserve, but the 22 year old, with just a single Premier League appearance to his name, is likely to see more time out on loan next year.  

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An interesting development in the coaching and backroom staffing at the club has emerged in the imminent appointment of Ray Wilkins.  Wilkins has increasingly impressed in the assistant role in recent years, carries respect in the game and performed with some note at Chelsea.  

It would serve as a prudent, proven appointment – in stark contrast to the bonkers arrival of Roy Keane last season.  A seemingly wise move indeed.  Ahead of his arrival at the club, Wilkins has been quoted of his intention to restore Villa to at least the top ten and assist Sherwood as he looks to build a more consistent work ethic across a new squad.

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Ron Vlaar looks set to walk away from the club on a free next week.  If this happens, it will mark a disappointing end to a Villa career that was stop start.  Vlaar has all the attributes of a top defender, dug in where he could but suffered badly for fitness & consistency.  The latter, in my view, due to some serious underlying muscle injuries which plagued his Villa career and left us short at centre half for months on end.  That is, of course, not Ron’s fault.

I do hope that if he rejects Villa’s offer, then he at least moves on to a club where he can take on a challenge and kick on to something greater.  A move to Southampton, Newcastle or Sunderland, for me at least, represent little in the way of progress.  Indeed, he would truly need his head looking at if he signed for Newcastle United. 

And so it would be sad on the one hand that things couldn’t have been better for Vlaar and Villa – but – there are better, younger and more promising options out there.  This is perhaps the most opportune time to explore those options which will see us through a campaign and better us for it.

Liverpool are rumoured to be set to tempt Villa with a £22 million pound bid for Benteke.  It appears that the £32.5 million clause has possibly been a clever ploy to ward off clubs without the funds or grit to extend themselves into prizing away our main asset.  With that said, the game will play out very differently next season, when Villa will likely struggle to demand such sums given Christian’s contract will be within the final year.  

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