If the usual rag newspapers are to be believed, it seems our move to sign Sam Johnstone permanently has been massively undermined by Middlesbrough putting a £2.5 million bid in, topped up with add-ons that might run out at £5 million.
This is obviously bad news for Villa on the face of it, as it would seem that if we want to retain the goalie’s services, we’re going to have to get involved in a bidding war; which ultimately Boro would probably win, with them having a nice fat chunk of Premier league money, even though they were relegated.
But I’m not convinced Boro will win out here.
I’d have thought we have probably already matched that sort of bid, as after all, £2.5 mill isn’t a large amount to pay upfront.
Well, yes it is, to most clubs, but it’s not beyond the Villa, even if we add FFP into it, is my point.
So my opinion says it’s more likely to come down to the package that we offer the player.
And we all know that we’re very willing to pay over the odds if we want someone.
I have to be honest and say that while I see promise in Johnstone, I can’t say he massively convinced me of anything.
I personally believe that his record for us as regards clean sheets etc, improved because the defence got better overall.
Of course, you could say that a better goalie inspired the defence to get more confident and hence perform better. But I don’t believe that to be the case and think it was very much the other way round.
Suffice to say, I’d like to keep Johnstone.
But if we can’t do it at the right money, I certainly don’t want to see us go out on a limb at the cost of say, the midfield.
We also have another plus point in our favour.
No disrespect to Boro, but as bleak as people might see Birmingham, I’d suggest it isn’t as bad as Middlesbrough, even if you throw the trendy end that is Yarm, into account.
As per usual it’s all about the money and if Johnstone prefers to go elsewhere, fair enough.
I can’t say I’ll be sorry.
He either buys the Villa story, or he doesn’t.