New guy from the old boy network and is Benteke about to leave for Manchester United?

Reports are getting published all over the place that Manchester United have agreed a fee with us for Benteke. You could go back a few days and change the name from Benteke to Delph and United to City and you'd have pretty much the exact same story and we know how that turned out.

But you have to look to the player. In Delph we have someone that has grown up at the Club, is the captain and he knows we can build a team around him. There is also that question of loyalty. It's not that I don't think Benteke doesn't have it, but as soon as his career is over or an Italian or Spanish club were to come in for him, he'd be off and he wont be back.

Not that I think that makes a huge difference, but Delph is English and if he makes the decision to stay at Aston Villa, he'll become a local legend. And no disrespect to Delph, as I believe he can become one of the best English central midfielders the country has, but Benteke could shine on the European stage. But Benteke also has to ask himself if he'll be playing every week. I'm not so sure, if he goes to Manchester United that he will.

And this isn't over yet

I know I don't need to remind you that the papers can get it wrong. I also don't need to tell you that players can surprise. But I also wrote the other day how Benteke leaving for Liverpool was a mistake and how Benteke had more common sense than that. Manchester United is different to Liverpool though and the attraction will be strong.

But the same argument stands for Benteke only this time he'll have Rooney in front of him and that he could get stuck as a bit part player. One more season at Aston Villa and 20 plus goals and teams in the Champions League will be clamouring for him. Right now, it will be a move because he's had his head turned. One more season and put in a blinder and not only will he get his Champions League football, he'll also earn a lot more money.

But as I also wrote the other day; I think if he went, we'd be gutted but the £32.5mn will be nice and we'll wish him well. And with the money, I think we can replace him and also strengthen elsewhere and have change.

New Sporting Director

And in other news, we've got a new Sporting Director that goes by the name of Hendrik Almstadt and according to his personal profile on LinkedIn he is Head of Business Development at Arsenal and has been since 2010. But the statement on the club site suggests he did something else.

The 40-year old German joins the club from Arsenal where he spent the last four years in the football department working with the chief executive and manager in the areas of technical scouting, data analytics, financial budgeting and contract management, the academy and athletic development.

I'm just saying; new CEO appoints someone he worked with in his last job in a different role to what he has been brought in for. Feels a little like the old boy network and maybe not necessarily what is best for the Club. But that is just my cynical side, I'm sure there will be some value created and it just goes to show that anyone can get into football as long as you know the right people. And on that, goodnight.