Is Stephen Warnock on his way to Anfield? (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Stewart James brings us the news that though Stephen Warnock has agreed to move to Liverpool and loan and the Reds would like to take him, Villa's demands have thrown a wrench into the proceedings.
Villa...are understood to be looking for a loan fee in excess of £500,000 as well as stipulating that the left-back's wages are covered in full.
As much as I'd love to bash Liverpool for being stingy, those are indeed pretty steep terms considering Warnock hasn't been in the 18 since the defeat to Manchester City and has been reduced to training with the reserves in recent weeks. It seems hard to believe that Villa will allow this to fall through based on fee and/or wage demands. It's clear that Warnock's days at Villa Park are numbered; the hope has to be that he goes out on loan and performs well enough that he can be sold on in the summer. His value will do nothing but drop even further if he continues to be left out of the squad and the club is still responsible for his wages in full should that turn out to be the case. There's still four days left for the two sides to get this hammered out, remember; for now, this looks like nothing more than haggling.
In other news regarding Villa defenders on their way out the door, Curtis Davies has agreed to terms on a three-and-a-half year deal with Birmingham City and is set to take a physical tomorrow. James seems confident in saying that the deal will go through whether Sebatian Larsson is a part of it or not, though his figures diverge a bit from what Mat Kendrick first reported yesterday. Kendrick's numbers seem a bit more realistic, but at this point it's impossible to tell who is correct. I'm still not a fan of Davies moving to Birmingham City, but I'm not opposed to Larsson coming back in return. He's not a great player but he's quite versatile and his ability to cover at full back is a definite plus.
I'm in favor of Warnock moving and I certainly won't be crushed to see Davies out the door as well, but I wouldn't expect either of these moves to lead to any knew players (Larsson aside) being brought in. Gerard Houllier seems more than content with Ciaran Clark at left back and it's important to remember that the club have spent somewhere between £24M-£30M during this transfer window alone. The best case scenario as it regards the fans would be for the added wage flexibility to allow Villa to make an improved offer to Ashley Young over the summer while Warnock performs well enough with Liverpool that the loan becomes permanent and a fee more in line with his value at the beginning of the season results from it. The outcome of both players moving on would probably could for the club, but not in any immediately tangible way; Warnock and Davies are the fringiest of players and the impact of their departure on the on-field product is likely going to be close to nil.