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This report suggests that Aston Villa are ready to take a risk on Giles Barnes. They reckon that Martin O’Neill will make an offer for the Derby winger thus taking advantage of Roy Hodgson’s reluctance to make a permanent move for Barnes without seeing him in the Fulham first team.

Barnes would seem to fit the profile of the kind of player that O’Neill has been taking to Villa Park. He’s young, talented and English with pace. Compare and contrast with Ashley Young when O’Neill spent what was then considered an eyebrow-raising amount of money on the Watford winger/forward and you’d get the idea. Then again, O’Neill did sign Wayne Routledge before realising what Fulham fans knew about him from his loan spell at the Cottage a few years ago – he wasn’t good enough for the Premier League.

A few people seem to think that, as part of the loan deal with Derby, we’ve got first refusal on┬áBarnes. I don’t know if that’s true but it seems as if Nigel Clough is keen to get rid of him however talented he may be.