While it sounds just a little outlandish that Real Madrid have been after the greedy Jermaine Pennant, a more sensible target of Juande Ramos is Aston Villa’s Ashley Young, who has been linked with the club recently. And according to the Daily Mail, Real are working their hardest to try to hammer out a deal for the 23-year-old attacker.
Villa spent an initial £8m to bring Young from Watford in January 2007, and he’s repaid that fee and then some. Last season, he notched 8 goals and 17 assists, and he’s off to a fantastic start to this season, helping Villa to third in the Premier League and into the last 32 of the UEFA Cup.
Villa will want a hefty fee if any deal is to be done. The Mail’s report mentioned that any deal would cost more than £25m, and it also mentioned that a potential deal could be a cash/player swap involving Rafael Van der Vaart, who only signed for Real in the summer but hasn’t quite lived up to expectations after a hot start.
Considering that Van der Vaart has few rivals when he’s in his best form, that kind of deal could persuade Villa to part with Young, if the amount of money offered along with Van der Vaart is right.
With their eyes on a 10th European title and making up ground in La Liga, you can’t fault Real’s desires to spend big in January. However, Villa have their own ambitions, so they won’t make any sacrifices for the sake of helping someone else.