Eastlands outfit ready to buy Villa park wide man, but why?
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Manchester City will lead the chase for Ashley Young in the summer after making a late enquiry for him in the January window, Goal.com UK can reveal.
City executives contacted Aston Villa a few days before the transfer deadline to ask about the potential availability of the England winger but were told he was not for sale.
However, the Midlands club recognise they will have to cash in on Young in the summer when he will have only 12 months remaining on his contract.
Young has told friends that he does not intend to sign a new deal at Villa Park and believes it is time to move on from the club he joined from Watford for £9.65 million in January 2007.
Liverpool’s director of strategy Damien Comolli recently confirmed the Merseysiders would be interested in Young if he was on the market, while Manchester United have also asked to be kept informed of developments.
Senior Villa officials were aware of the public relations ramifications if they cashed in on Young in the winter window only weeks after paying a club record £24m for Darren Bent.
“They didn’t want it to look like they needed to sell Young to afford Bent and only crazy money would have forced them to sell,” a source told Goal.com UK. “But they know Young wants to leave and they know they will have to cash in on him in the summer or he will be able to go on a free the following year.”
It is understood that Young would prefer a move to United of the three clubs pursuing him most vigorously. Unless he signs a new deal, they will be hopeful of buying a player who is valued at around £18m for no more than £14m.
Clearly the most obvious response to this story is why the hell do Manchester City need to buy another winger? For the record the Eastlands side already has loads of wide men from David Silva to Adam Johnson plus of course James Milner who also plies his trade on the wings, and there is also a certain Shaun Wright-Phillips. Roberto Mancini may want to sell one or more of those guys before forking out on another player who can warm the bench.
Manchester United and Liverpool are also said to want Ashley Young who has stated that he will entertain notions of signing a new deal until the summer which will then leave him with just one year to go on his current contract. The fear among Villa supporters and management is that the England international will then try to force a move in much the same way the likes of Gareth Barry and James Milner did.