Pull The Other One, Martin
Recent reports suggest that Aston Villa manager Martin O`Neill has failed in an attempt to prise Royals striker Kevin Doyle away from his Madejski Stadium home.
Irishman Doyle, who is currently sitting in an impressive third place in the Premiership`s leading goalscorers chart with 10 goals to his name so far this season, has recently penned a new deal with his Berkshire club which will keep him here until the end of the 2009/10 campaign.
Upon signing, Doyle announced at how happy he was with life at Reading, and admitted that the club is moving onto great things in his eyes.
However, it has recently been suggested through circles in the media that Villa chief Martin O`Neill fancies his chances of tempting Doyle to the midlands, and as such, has tabled a £5million bid for the in-form striker.
From a personal point of view, I laugh at Mr. O`Neill`s ignorance, yet applaud his interest in such a fine young player.
It has been publicised that Doyler is extremely happy to be a part of this historic Royals team, and in scoring 10 goals so far this term, has outlined just how well he is playing with his teammates. Having signed a new deal as recently as just last week, most managers would have taken this as an indication that Doyle is not looking to move on anytime soon, and is hoping to push this club up the league and cement our place in the top flight.
If it costs £8million to take Andy Johnson to Everton from the division below, for example, why should O`Neill believe he`d successfully capture Doyle for only £5million?
Doyle has scored 10 goals already this Premiership campaign - of which only two have been from the penalty spot, contrasting with Johnson`s count of over 60% of his tally for Crystal Palace coming from 12 yards. Doyle is also a regular international for his country and has already opened his Irish account on the scoring front.
I`m by no means suggesting that Everton`s Johnson was not worth the price that was paid, but for O`Neill to offer what is such a derogatory bid in my opinion is somewhat questionable on his part.
Since Doyler moved to Reading for just £75,000 from Cork City, he has scored an impressive 29 goals in 72 games for the club. Couple this with his down-to-earth attitude and the tremendous work rate and winning mentality he brings to the team, it would take far more than £5million to even raise an eyebrow`s thought to selling our hitman.
As far as I`m concerned, O`Neill can take his £5million and use it to buy a reality check. There is no way Doyle will be sold for such a bargain price, if indeed, at all.