Aston Villa targets going elsewhere and is Sir Alex playing games with someone?

David Bentley was a target, we know this. I'm fairly sure Fabian Delph is, only because it makes sense and while applying that logic you can see why a team like Chelsea or Manchester United might want Ashley Young.

But to Bentley. Apparently his former manager, Mark Hughes, is now interested in the player and he's willing to offer more money over than any real footballing chance of success to lure the player. Bentley will pick the money over Villa if it is true and you can't blame him if he does.


But I can't see a successful Manchester City while Mark Hughes is at the club. They can spend all the money they want but Hughes, apart from 'run for every ball', has little in his locker. That is what I want to believe anyway.

I'm not convinced, at the moment, that O'Neill has much more than 'run for every ball' either. Our football hasn't really changed since O'Neill came in, we're not playing a passing game and we're not playing a long ball game, but we don't make as many passes as other teams and we do tend to like to hit it quite far, but our determination has been fantastic and I'd actually take a 1-0 win every week over a passing game, so ultimately I'm happy.

It might also be that we need the right players in before we can play the passing game, so it isn't criticism, more of a hope that the right players are coming, because our game hasn't developed.

But, I want Hughes to fail next season, because we sort of need him too. Everton will be strong again and while I fancy we can pip them and maybe even Arsenal, if we bring in the right players, if it clicks in place for Manchester City, then we might as well write off our chances with Arkwright owning the club.

If we bring in Downing and Distin and add to them Delph and Bentley and then two or three others of similar overall quality, we will stand a chance, if it doesn't work for Manchester City. If it does work, then well, we need a lot more money.

All this is written assuming Arsenal implode again and there is every chance they won't, so the challenge is an even bigger one for O'Neill, but if the likes of Bentley and Delph are real targets, then he has to bring them in and stop pussy footing around.

Talking of pussy footing around, is Sir Alex Ferguson playing mind games? He said the other day that he had finished his business, but in the Mirror today, we've got David Gill, CEO of Manchester United saying that he expects some player activity over the next couple of weeks while away on pre-season tour. He said "I will start each day with the usual emails and correspondence and I'm sure there will be some player activity going on while we are over there."

If I had to believe Gill or Ferguson, I'd pick Ferguson every time, but with quite a bit of cash available to him you fancy he might spend it otherwise, he might one day lose it. I don't want Ashley Young to leave but if Chelsea or United came calling you couldn't blame him, could you and if Downing does come, until September 1st, speculation surrounding Ashley Young will not go away, so prepare yourself.

Before I go, we had a player from another club arrive at our training facility yesterday, would it be too much to ask for the club to tell us something?