Thursday, July 22, 2010

'Mini role?

With Nicky Butt having retired and Alan Smith knocking on (and, lest we forget, hopelessly out of his depth last time we were in the Premier League), it's fairly certain that Chris Hughton will be looking to invest some of our loose change in a defensive midfielder - and Wednesday brought two intriguing links.

First, Setanta claimed we're vying with Villa for Milan's Mathieu Flamini. The French international isn't quite out of favour in Italy so much as reportedly sick of being played out of position. While he didn't exactly boss the Arsenal midfield in the manner of a Vieira or Petit during his time in North London, and never really looked like the sort of player who would stroll into the Rossoneri team, he did at least show enough to suggest he'd be a quality acquisition for a Premier League side in our position, whether on loan or a permanent deal.

Second, the Independent reported comments made by the agent of Real Madrid and Mali midfielder Mahamadou Diarra which suggest that, while new manager Jose Mourinho is keen to retain his services, we're waiting in the wings should the situation change. Of course, it's another matter whether we could afford a player who cost the Spanish side an eyewatering £22m four years ago - though the fact that he'll be out of contract next summer might mean a fee that doesn't bring Jabba out in a cold sweat...


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