ATLANTA - JULY 28: Goalkeeper Shay Given #1 of Manchester City saves a penalty kick by Daniel Montenegro (not pictured) #10 of Club America during the 2010 Aaron's International Soccer Challenge match at Georgia Dome on July 28 2010 in Atlanta Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Aston Villa are believed to be at the head of the line to acquire Wigan athletic winger Charles N'Zogbia and the deal to bring Shay Given to the club is as good as done but being delayed by Manchester City in a similar manner to which the deals for Stephen Ireland and Richard Dunne according to a piping-hot, filled-to-the-brim cup of hot transfer news from the Guardian. Considering that the source is Stuart James and nothing he writes in this particular piece makes Aston Villa look bad, I'd expect N'Zogbia to sign tomorrow and Given to sign in approximately fifteen minutes.
It's difficult to believe that Aston Villa would have allowed Stewart Downing to move to Liverpool if they weren't confident in their ability to bring in a replacement and they've been connected to N'Zogbia for quite some time, so if what James is reporting is true it would come as little surprise. Given's move to Villa is perhaps the least well kept secret in all of football right now, so there's not a whole lot beyond an explanation of what's taking so long on that front either.
In short, this is the worst and most annoying part of transfer season, at least from where I'm sitting. Everyone knows Villa are going to spend. Everyone has a decent idea of what kinds of player they're going to spend it on. There's even a fair bit of evidence that suggests specific targets. But Nothing has happened yet, so we get these kinds of stories. I understand it, I do; I'm writing this post, after all. But it's torturous. I wish the transfer window was open for three days and all of the Managers and Chairmen and Directors of Football sat down at a massive conference table and just got everything all worked out and no one knew a damned thing until they left the room.That would be so much better than this. Unless you had to be in the room. That would probably suck a lot.