Champions League hopefuls Aston Villa are set to dive headfirst in the transfer market in January in order to aid their challenge for the top four, and striker looks to be the top priority of Martin O’Neill’s list.
The name at the top of the list is Portsmouth’s Jermain Defoe, and according to the Daily Mail, Villa are set to make an enticing £16m offer to Pompey for the 26-year-old.
Tottenham appear to have dropped out of the race for Defoe, and that leaves only Manchester City to battle with. That may not be a battle that materializes, depending on whether or not City can land Roque Santa Cruz (who could cost £20m) or Craig Bellamy (who could cost well over £10m), the latter of which Villa could also be in for.
Whether or not Defoe is worth £16m or more is one thing (he is when he wants to be), but if Pompey do cash in on him, Tony Adams will have a lot of money at his disposal in January, with the sale of Lassana Diarra as well. They could also sell a few more regulars and fringe players, so they could be wind up being one of the biggest spenders among the survival seekers.
If Villa do happen to miss out on Defoe, they could turn to Tottenham’s Darren Bent, according to the Daily Mirror.
Bent cost Tottenham £16.5m when he moved from Charlton in the summer of 2007, and after a disappointing first campaign at White Hart Lane, he’s hit 12 goals thus far this season.
Considering that Harry Redknapp is in the market for another striker himself, it’s hard to see him being all that interested in selling Bent. Besides, even though Bent hasn’t quite become a Spurs legend just yet, it’s unlikely that they’ll be looking to sell him for any less than what they paid for him.
No matter what, this serves as a sign that Villa have money to spend, and that Randy Lerner is willing to put the necessary resources towards making the club a contender in the Premier League.