Alex McLeish rues Facebook revelation by Aston Villa target

 

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The Independent Football

Aston Villa trialist Yannick Djalo may be looking to impress at the club, but he has already made a mistake in the eyes of manager Alex McLeish - by announcing the deal on Facebook.

The Portuguese has not yet arrived at Villa's Bodymoor Heath training ground, and McLeish had been hoping to keep the move quiet.

However, any hopes of so doing were extinguished when Djalo resorted to social media, something the Villa boss is clearly disappointed with.

"We're just going to look at him on trial," McLeish said.

"Talk of signing him is very premature.

"I didn't really want it to be anybody's business, but I know the lad put it on Facebook himself, so what chance have you got?"

Djalo is currently in contractual limbo at French side Nice. He joined the French side on the last day of the summer transfer window from Sporting Lisbon, but FIFA rejected the move after league officials only registered his documents after midnight when the market was closed

McLeish was cagey when asked about Djalo's qualities as a footballer.

He said: "I can't tell you anything about him just now.

"I don't want to divulge anything.

"Look him up on Google."

Fans got wind of the deal after he posted 'I go to Aston Villa' on his Facebook page.

McLeish hinted he may go down a similar route with other players when trying to strengthen his squad, as a modest budget means he must remove as much risk as possible from his transfer dealings.

"We'll quietly look at people when we get an opportunity," he said.

"There's others that are out there as well.

"We want to try and do things carefully and prudently, and we'll continue to do so."

Villa take on Manchester United tomorrow, and McLeish has a near fully-fit squad to pick from after Stiliyan Petrov and Stephen Ireland recovered from hamstring and foot injuries respectively.

Defender Eric Lichaj's long-term hip injury makes him the only absentee.

The game will see Ashley Young return to Villa Park for the first time after the winger's £17million switch to Old Trafford over the summer.

McLeish believes the England international will get a good reception from supporters despite his decision to defect, but hopes the fans do not make it too easy for him.

"He's well remembered here, but I hope the Villa fans put him off his game a bit," he said.

"Coming back to your old ground, players can be welcomed, they can be made a little bit apprehensive as (Darren) Bent was at Sunderland and maybe to a lesser extent Spurs, but I'm sure the characters of the players rise above it."

PA

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