Top Stories

Evening Ticker: Villa agree compensation for McLeish, Nolan completes West Ham switch and more

McLeish - Getty


As if the local rivals needed any more animosity between them, Aston Villa is closing in on the capture of Birmingham City's former manager Alex McLeish after agreeing to pay the Blues £2 million in compensation for the head coach.

Having quit Birmingham City via email just four days ago, McLeish has been in talks with Villa over the last couple days and it appears the two sides are ready to make a deal for his services.  

Expected to be unveiled on Friday, the Scottish manager makes the short trip north to Villa Park to take over the troubled Aston Villa side that looks to be losing several of its star players in Ashley Young and possibly Stewart Downing. 

McLeish has been at Birmingham City since November of 2007, the highlight of his stint at the club coming off last season's 2-1 League Cup Final victory over Arsenal at Wembley Stadium.  The Blues were relegated on the last day of the season and start the next campaign in the Coca Cola Championship.

His impact on the American soccer players involved in the switch is yet to be determined as Brad Guzan and Eric Lichaj are currently contracted to the club, while Michael Bradley had spent the latter half of the season on loan to the Villans.

Here are some other stories from around the world to keep your Thursday rolling:


In a surprising bit of transfer news, the former Newcastle United captain Kevin Nolan has completed his switch to recently-relegated side West Ham United to work with his former boss Sam Allardyce.

In a deal believed to be around the £4 million mark, Nolan will become one of the first major signings for Allardyce, who is well aware of Nolan's talent having spent several years with him at Bolton Wanderers.

The news of having their influential captain taken from them has been difficult to accept for club followers, and fellow first teamer Joey Barton has said the news of Nolan's departure made him feel "sick".  

The loss of Nolan comes after losing striker Andy Carroll in January and talks are ongoing between the club and Barton, who insists that he is keen to stay at the club.


One of the most highly regarded youngsters in world soccer, Alexis Sanchez, will make a decision on which club he would like to make his next "over the next few days".

Sanchez has been with Serie A side Udinese since 2006 and, despite two loan spells, the Chilean has been instrumental in the club's success this season in Italy as of late. 

Only 22, Sanchez reportedly has offers on the table from Barcelona, Juventus, Inter Milan and the Manchester duo of City and United.  Udinese is holding out for around the £35 million mark for its prized asset in the dynamic attacker.

While Manchester City is said to be leading the financial charge with the most appealing bid for Udinese, the player will have the final say on where he will ply his trade next season.  In that regard, the Italian club's transfer consultant Stefano Antonelli says that Barcelona is the "logical" choice.


In the latest installment of corruption accusations surrounding FIFA, Joao Havelange, the seventh president of the world's governing soccer body (1974-1998) is now the subject of an investigation by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), an organization he is currently a part of.  

The investigation is centered around a potential $1 million Havelange received in 1997 in bribes, a sum that current FIFA President Sepp Blatter was fully aware of yet did not act upon.  It has been widely reported that Havelange pulled several strings to see Blatter as his successor.

FIFA has, so far, refused to look in to the matter itself.  

Four FIFA members have been suspended over the past seven months after its own ethics committee looked into the reportedly corrupt activities in an investigation that has left the organization's rulers struggling to defend their organization's integrity.


What sort of impact would McLeish have on the American contingent at Aston Villa?  Did the Nolan transfer surprise you at all?  Where do you see Sanchez ending up?

Share your thoughts below


  1. McLeish is a stud, he won the Carling Cup then his strikers and several top players got injured or else he would have had Birmingham in the top 14. He will make Aston Villa a top 8 team.

  2. I’m American, too, but take off your red-white-and-blue tinted glasses. Foster is a far better keeper than Guzan. Sorry, he just is. Foster was one of the best, if not the best, keepers in the league this past season.

  3. You’d prefer the guy who walked out on his team (where have we seen that before?) or the guy who got canned by Valencia and run out of Madrid? Sorry, no thanks.

  4. I could have sworn that Birmingham City, and more notably Mcleish, was very interested in bringing Michael Bradley over around a year ago. Of course, BMGladbach were asking too much, but I personally see this working in at MBJr.s favor. And of course USMNT Fans baby!!!

  5. how is that an upside? Guzan will be a regular starter in the EPL eventually but US fans want him working now. Even though Foster has quit Eng-er-land for the meantime, he’s still not a better keeper than Guzan.

  6. I’m really not understanding why United are interested in so many wingers??? Young, Sneijder & Sanchez. That’s the one place on the field that they are stacked with Nani, Valencia, Park & Giggs. You would think think they would want to strengthen the CM position with the retirement of Scholes. They currently have Carrick, Fletcher, Anderson and Gibson. All decent but no one that stands out.

  7. Unless this McLeish thing turns out to be a vivid nightmare, one of the upsides of having him at Villa Park is a high possibility of a move for Ben Foster, who would more than likely keep Guzan out of the reckoning for a starting spot.

    And the Bradley situation is still completely up in the air, as far as I know.

  8. I imagine our three boys left at Villa will get much more playing time. Bradley will probably start most games, with Lichaj being a regular sub off the bench and Guzan getting a shot at the starting GK spot unless they splurge on a bigger name.

    Should be interesting to watch.

  9. I really can’t wrap my head around this move. It just boggles my mind. We turned down Mark Hughes and Quique Sanchez Flores and we’re going for this guy? I just don’t know what’s going on.

    This has been a frustrating year to be a Villa fan.


Leave a Comment