Ciaran Clark is a one-club man no longer.
George Caulkin of The Times is tonight reporting that Clark is on the verge of a move to Newcastle United, as Rafa Benitez' club have met Clark's release clause at Villa:
With the release clause met, and the fact that Clark is not seen as an integral member of the Villa first-team, the conclusion of the deal seems a formality.
Clark has spent his entire senior career with Villa up to now, and despite the fact the club were spectacularly bad last season, he failed to have a regular impact on the first-team, with Remi 'What Seems To Be The Problem' Garde persisting with the Decadent Duo: Micah Richards and Joleon Lescott.
Newcastle earlier today confirmed the sale of Steven Taylor to Portland Timbers, and released Fabrizio Coloccini earlier this summer.
A move to Newcastle is a good one for Clark: they look in a much better position to bounce back to the Premier League than Villa, and any central defender should relish the opportunity to work with Benitez. Daniel Agger last month said that Benitez was the best tactician he has ever worked with. Any positive move for Clark would obviously have a great spin-off benefit for Ireland also.
We learned from the Euros and Martin O'Neill's subsequent desire to keep John O'Shea involved that Ireland's central defensive partnership is set in anything but stone, and there is a position on offer for Clark should he take it.
While Clark struggled at the Euros - a clumsy own goal against Sweden prefaced a personal nightmare against Belgium - he has served the national side extremely well in the past, most notably the playoff against Bosnia in which he was outstanding.
At just 26, this is going to be a fascinating move for Clark.