I know I said I was going to stay away from speculation, but I read some yesterday that pulled my shirt and has got me back in and while it is topical, it also mostly goes to show the madness of the game.
You know the rumour, it is in the title, but the talk of £20mn does sound quite ridiculous. For sure, Gabby has had a fantastic start to the season, but speculation starting now, seven games in, just baffles me.
My views on Gabby are mixed. I love the fact that he is a homegrown player. I love the fact that he is a local lad too. I love also, that he has started so well, but there is a part of me that doesn't expect this to last very long but an even bigger part of me that wants to be wrong and wants to see him get better and better.
On chances, Gabby could have scored 20+ league goals the season before last and the one before that and if he has found the confidence to take those chances this season, then we have a 20+ goal a season striker playing on the wing - that is worth a lot more than the £20mn getting mentioned and if there is any element of truth in these rumours, then they have to be quashed.
New contract or hope for loyalty
And, if there is any element of truth, the club will know about it. In the current FourFourTwo - Ashley Young as good as confirms he knew about the interest from Manchester United during the season and interest in the January before he left. Chances are, if there is any truth in these rumours, the club will know them ahead of January.
But what do you do? Has a club ever come in for Gabby before and will his head be turned? Is it too much to hope for some loyalty or do you have to offer the player more money to stay? I know what the player has said, but players say what we want to hear - but is there a chance, as Gabby is a local boy, playing for his local side, that he really doesn't want to leave.
I'd like to think there was and I'd also like to hear Gabby come and say he'd sign a new ten year contract tomorrow to prove that commitment.
Talking of more money to stay, if the mounting speculation that there is interest in Barry Bannan from a Manchester based Scot, then I'm sorry to be so blunt, but there is one player that should be offered a ten year contract right now.
But someone is going to bring it down to the 'if a player wants to leave, he will' comment, but I disagree. In the summer, someone commented about how we all knew Modric was joining Chelsea, but I didn't. Redknapp and Levy were adamant he wasn't going anywhere and he didn't. The way Spurs handled that situation was admirable and one we should want to mirror.
Back to Bannan quickly and does he deserve a new contract after signing one late last year? It's a tough call. On one hand you ask for loyalty, but on the other, if there is interest, the chances are the money he is been offered is probably a lot more than he is on. Surely there has to be a middle ground, but as the saying goes; money talks.
News in 60 seconds
Right, seeing as I've covered speculation above and I wasn't going to, although I hope you will see the reason I did, I'm going to do the news now. Start your clocks.
- There is talk Emile Heskey will get offered a new contract. If this happens, it is more proof the man men have taken over the asylum. He is 33 years old - we have seen the best of him. Or actually, we didn't.
- There is a new 30 minute rule at the club. You have to live within 30 minutes of Bodymoor. Have I touched on this already, I don't remember. Well, I'd like to know if it is 30 minutes by car or can you fly yourself in? It is a nice rule, but just a nice one or am I missing something?
- Rooney is going to miss the group matches of the European championships next summer after earning some cash for his dad. Don't worry though, he'll still go to the tournament and the moment he can play, he will replace whoever was in, probably doing a fine job and then deliver nothing.
- I think I'm the only optimistic Aston Villa fan ahead of the match tomorrow. I know it is wildly optimistic to think we can win, but why not a point? Our manager is good at putting eleven men behind the ball and not looking to score. Everything is possible.
- Lastly, Chelsea fans are up in arms over a proposed move away from Stamford Bridge, a Chelsea spokesman said last night "You can't just bulldoze 5 years of history!"
Right, on that, I'm off. All we have to do is get Bannan to sign up to a new improved contract, before his head gets turned and wait to hear Gabby come out and say he'll sign for ten years. Back tomorrow with blind optimism.