I will probably be alone in thinking this might actually be a good idea if the rumour is true. I know that it is probably just made up, like so many of the rumours we read, but with the way Lerner was talking yesterday, you can't help but think we need to change things about a bit and if this was true - would it be so bad?
We will get to Lerner in a second, because what he said/released as a statement yesterday was fantastic and what as someone said to me last night; it was perfect PR, but to coin a phrase I picked up by the PR machine at the club, actions speak louder than words. Words are just words.
Webcam and Gabby for £45mn
Don't get me wrong, I like both players but I am at the point of accepting we are not going to invest the type of money needed to really challenge so I'm at the point now of thinking maybe we should take a little break from banging our very soar head against this very big brick wall and try something else.
Gabby gets a league goal for us every 3 and a half games and Webcam puts in one successful cross for every 62 attempts (I made the Webcam statistic up) and that is the reason why neither were picked for the England squad this summer. It isn't because Gabby doesn't score, it's that he doesn't take his chances and that Webcam wastes too many.
If the number is true and we could get £45mn for the two, I just think, why not? Why not put a bit of faith in The Fonz and why not put a bit of faith in Albrighton. It would mean Downing can play on his preferred left (he is awful on the right) and it would mean that with the money we get for those two, we could go and get another two more players and lets face it; we all like Gabby and Webcam but it's hardly as if they've consistently done the business for us and what is wrong with giving other people a chance - the more chances we give the more chance we have that eventually we will find a player that does do it on a consistent basis.
Talking about next season
I think next year will be exciting and worthwhile and I look forward to it.
Talking about James Milner
I am not worried about losing James Milner and I think he will play for Aston Villa. I'm not dismissive of the realities of the situation whereby a player who has received the attention and acclaim of James Milner is going to spark discussion and debate about whether or not he will move. But I don't worry about him leaving because he is wanted at this club. We will do everything in our power to keep him.
Talking about Martin O'Neill
Martin will be back next year managing. It has already been settled. He and I spoke on a number of occasions in person and over the phone. Yesterday [Tuesday] I dragged him out of a series of meetings with chief executive Paul Faulkner trying to get plans for the summer underway. We feel very good about that because it represents continuity for the players and in many other ways.
Talking about funds for next season
I gave Martin the assurance that I also wanted to take the team forward. A £30mn striker would be out of our budget but there is money there to be spent on the team. I say that carefully in the context of knowing that the summer brings a very dynamic environment of players coming and going so I'm careful not to simply say 'here is a brand new amount of money, go and spend it'. I would prefer to say our ambition remains to get better and we are not in some sort of mode where we are shutting the door on spending on players. Is there a sell to buy policy? I think there is a sell to buy policy in every organisation on the planet. On the other hand if an opportunity arises and the net 'sell to buy' doesn't equal what is required to take advantage of an opportunity, then you may spend the money. I wouldn't exclude us from the group who would do that.
I'm not saying anything about what Lerner said or didn't say but I will say I suspect him and Martin O'Neill went to the same school in how to deal with the press.
If you can get £45mn for Webcam and Gabby; sell them. Put a bit of faith in some of the younger players and your own and go spend the £45mn on Zlatan Ibrahimovic and offer him £150k a week - the money you will be saving on the Aston Villa six. Until you offer him and sell him the idea - how do you know it isn't possible?