BIRMINGHAM ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 05: Jean II Makoun of Aston villa in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Aston Villa and Fulham at Villa Park on February 5 2011 in Birmingham England. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
UPDATE: According to the Official Site, it seems like Makoun will indeed be heading to Rennes. Unfortuantely, it will be on loan. Unless Rennes will be paying almost his full salary (and this just means that Villa can recall him if injurypocalypse happens), I really hate this move. What is the point of keeping him around on payroll if we haven't used him since the 2010-11 season? Just get it done with, already.
It seems that Jean Makoun's time as a Villain is coming to an end. I've yet to see anything official, but there are enough sources reporting that Makoun is off to Ligue 1 side Rennes that I feel comfortable assuming it is true. The Daily Mail runs the story as if Makoun has already been transferred for a small fee. Apparently the goal here is not to bring in a large fee, but rather to just get Makoun off the books.
Even if the Mail (and by extension myself) is jumping the gun, it does seem safe to say that Makoun is not long for Villa. At a fan forum last night, someone asked Paul Lambert about the Cameroonian midfielder. His response, as reported by the Express and Star, was decidedly negative:
And when asked about the 29-year-old at a fans forum last night Lambert said he “had not got a clue what he (Makoun) looks like” and that he would “need a sat nav” to find him.
While it's a shame to see Makoun gone after a £6 million investment that only netted 11 appearances, it's probably best that the situation have some resolution. The upside is that the move would free up some space on the wage bill. Aaron has already addressed the need for another fullback (not to mention some depth at striker). The money freed up by Makoun ostensibly could be used to help bring in another player. Despite what many of us feared heading into the summer, Randy Lerner hasn't been in much of a selling mood and seems to be willing to let Lambert make some purchases even if they aren't directly balanced by sales. It helps that Lambert is bringing in talent that comes at reasonable prices, but it wouldn't shock me to see another player brought in before the transfer window closes. Makoun leaving makes that seem even more likely.
So, even if you aren't gone yet, farewell Jean Makoun. We hardly knew you, and many of us liked you, but this doesn't hurt quite as much as I imagined it would. Let's just do something good with the money we'll be saving.