Villa to raid rivals Birmingham for defender

Following Alex McLeish’s move across the city from Birmingham to Aston Villa, the last thing the Blues need is their former boss making moves for their best players.

This seems likely to happen though with Villa lining up a £10m move for Birmingham keeper Ben Foster.

It is being reported that McLeish handed new chairman Randy Lerner a list of possible transfers for the summer when his contract at the club was finalised, with Foster towards the top end of his targets.

Villa certainly need to bring in a new goalkeeper with Brad Friedel making his way to Tottenham recently and Foster was excellent for McLeish at Birmingham last season, winning the player of the year award.

The player will surely be open to the idea of following McLeish to St Andrews to continue playing Premier League football, but whether the two clubs can reach a deal remains to be seen.

The relationship has been more strained than usual following McLeish’s switch of allegiance and for a deal to be done for a player so soon after this seems unlikely.

Birmingham may have to accept that Foster will leave the club, but they will aim to sell to anyone other than Aston Villa. It all could depend on which other clubs might be interested.

Following the arrival of a top-class goalkeeper, preferably Foster, McLeish’s next priority is likely to be holding onto England winger Stewart Downing.

Ashley Young is almost certain to leave, but if he can keep hold of Downing for next season, the former Rangers manager will consider this as a good achievement.

One thing for sure is that this is going to be a very interesting summer for Aston Villa. They have had their critics of late, but McLeish will be determined to prove his doubters wrong.

Starting with going back to former club Birmingham and asking to sign one of their best players.

Good luck Alex…

As well as being the Editor in Chief of SqueakyBumTime, Bobby is also a Swansea City fan (before they reached the promised land).