Aston Villa have been told that they’re going to have to spend big if they harbour serious desires of landing their final transfer target of the summer.
Nuremburg’s Hiroshi Kiyotake is the man Paul Lambert wants, a creative player who he intends to deploy behind Christian Benteke in a playmaking role.
The Bundesliga club are demanding £10m for the Japanese international who they’re reluctant to part with, but the Villans are reportedly only willing to offer £7.5m.
At present, the west Midlanders are available to back at 8/1 to be relegated from the Premier League this season, which seems a little lofty given their catastrophic campaign last time around, while a measly 6/4 says they’ll land a top-10 finish.
Lambert’s decisiveness in the transfer market thus far has no doubt played a big part in the formulation of these prices.
He has drafted in a host of players as he bids to reshape his squad after a near-disastrous campaign last time around, but may well miss out on a key ingredient of his master plan for 2013/14 on account of the club’s shoe-string budget and a wage bill saturated by the humorously dubbed ‘Bomb Squad’.
This isn’t a specialised faction of the Villa set up that is paid top dollar for their warhead disarmament skills, it’s Darren Bent, Stephen Ireland and Shay Given, who are receiving extortionate wage packets in accordance to the contracts drawn up by old regimes.
None of these players feature in Lambert’s plans, yet their inability to offload them is severely hampering his ability to invest in his squad and he’s battling with that well-worn gripe once again here.
Charles N’Zogbia’s Achilles injury has also intensified the need for the Scot to push through this move, with no real creative force available to him ahead of the start of the season.
Kiyotake would likely be first choice should he be signed anyway, but N’Zogbia’s set back and this may convince the club to shell out the extra cash to land the missing piece of Lambert’s Villa jigsaw.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date