Is a double raid on West Ham likely and player offered up by Manchester City as bait to lure James Milner

I'm at the stage where I'm thinking about writing a piece of code that hides transfer speculation the instant it appears on my screen, because I'm starting to get fed up with it all.

But, it is Saturday and I heard a good one last night and I can confirm I went to bed thinking about another man and that I went to bed smiling.

I was smiling because I really do like Mark Noble as a football player and think he has all the attributes to become a very good Aston Villa player and one that will more than make up for James Milner moving to Manchester City.

And you know what, I do like Carlton Cole too and with the right motivation; not something associated with Gordo but very much associated with Martin O'Neill, I think Cole can become, I really do, our 20 goal a season striker.

Now, this is just speculation, but a double raid on West Ham for Noble and Cole, I think will be a good raid. But buying Cole would be to replace either Heskey or Carew and I don't know which one is leaving. Or maybe it is Gabby?

James Milner

Now, if it is true, that O'Neill has identified Noble as the replacement for Milner and it is also true that Manchester City are running out of money so can only add one of Micah Richards, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Nedum Onuoha or Stephen Ireland to the opening offer of £20mn, I think it is safe to say it wont be Ireland.

I would also quite hope it isn't Micah Richards, but that is just because of stories I've heard and despite those stories usually ending with 'he has learnt his lessons and he has grown up very quickly,' if half of the stories are true, it is quite shocking and I'm not convinced that is even the type of person we'd want wearing the shirt.

Marc Albrighton

So, if I had to pick from the other two, it would very much all depend on Marc Albrighton getting a proper run in the team or not. If O'Neill isn't going to give the lad a chance and has no faith in him, I'd say you have to go for Shaun Wright-Phillips and at the same time I'd whisper to Albrighton to just hang in for another season as he will get his chance. On his day, Wright-Phillips can be excellent and while those days are not as often as maybe he or anyone else would hope for, maybe Martin O'Neill could get the best out of him on a more regular basis.

However, if Albrighton was going to get his chance next season and Martin O'Neill really does have a policy of buying young English talent, then he has to pick Nedum Onuoha. He can play at left back, right back and centre back and is definitely one for the future.

Right, that is it. Milner is flying back tomorrow, playing on Monday and has a day off Tuesday I believe, which is when you would expect him to be meeting with someone from the club, if all the speculation is true and with a bit of luck he commits or we sell; in essence, we put an end to the speculation.

But, if we do end up getting Mark Noble, I'd be more than happy with the replacement.

The wife has just put some bacon in the pan, this is where I leave you for today.