The Villans' manager has refuted claims that the Dutchman has turned down a move to Villa Park, but admits the Heerenveen striker is on the Birmingham club's radar
The Dutchman has scored 28 goals in the Eredivisie this season, and McLeish did admit that Villa have been tracking the beanpole striker, but rubbished claims by the player’s agent that he had rejected a move.
“What’s the story? He turned us down?” McLeish asked the Birmingham Mail.
|ASTON VILLA POST-MATCH PRESS CONFERENCE
|Alex McLeish: Still four games to go
“We’ve never approached Heerenveen for him. We know who he is. We’ve watched a lot of the Dutch league this year and other leagues. But I don’t know why his agent is linking us with him when we’ve never made any approaches or even sounded him out.
“There’s been no contact whatsoever with agent or anyone. Nothing. He’s scored a number of goals in Holland this season but is among a number of players we’ve recorded and logged.
“You never know, he might be here in July. I’m not saying it cannot happen, but we’ve never made any contact. We’re looking at a lot of players.”
Villa’s search for strikers comes as no surprise given the exposure of their lack of depth in this department in the absence of Darren Bent.
Should Bent recover from ruptured ligaments in time for the European Championships, and be selected by England, McLeish has given an assurance that the club will not stand in his way.
“If they say ‘you’re fine’ then he can go to the Euros,” the manager confirmed.