Date: 7th June 2008 at 10:56am
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Villa’s defensive rock Martin Laursen has once again (or the reports have used old quotes which is just as likely) said that Villa need to spend big this summer in order to push on.

He said: ‘The requirement is to get good players and they are not cheap. So we need a lot of money to buy good players and to buy the right players. That is the manager’s job but he needs a lot of money because if not, we can’t compete with the big clubs.’

Adding, ‘We have proved we can do very well with a small group of players and this squad has a lot of potential. So we need some more quality players and if we qualify for the UEFA Cup, then we need some more players because it won’t be enough just to have 16 players. We haven’t had any injuries and if we are going to play in Europe that would be a big ask as well because a lot of us have international games as well. There are some important qualifiers coming up so it will be hard.’

So who are we being linked with today?!?

Apparently Benfica defender Nelson is unhappy with the contract he has been offered and that might re-ignite interest from Villa. A report in Portugal claimed ‘The Cape Verdean full-back recently renewed his contract, which will keep with the Eagles until 2011, but would like to have it renegotiated as he admits that he could have earned much more abroad. Nelson has garnered interest from other clubs in Europe, namely Aston Villa and Sevilla.’ All sounds a bit strange to me, if he has already signed a deal, then that is that surely?

The Mirror claim that Manchester City want to beat Villa to the £6m signing of Chelsea midfielder Steve Sidwell.

The Mirror also claim, again, that Villa are ‘chasing’ Arsenal fullback Justin Hoyte. Must be a bloody long race, we’ve been chasing him for months.

Another report claims that Liverpool are also after Blackburn’s David Bentley, a player we have also been linked to. This particular report says they’ll be after Bentley once they sign Barry who they say is expected at Anfield next week. NOT unless a bid is accepted by Villa he is not! Everyone seems to think there will be a mass exodus from Blackburn but why will there? Unless good offers come in for their players, the club doesn’t have to sell them just because they have lost a good manager, a club like that will survive the departure of Hughes for goodness sake and good as he was, there will be plenty of others who can fill his boots.

Newcastle winger James Milner is the target for Aston Villa and Liverpool if reports in the Mirror and the Sun are to be believed.

The Birmingham Mail have repeated the rumour that Villa want 17-year-old Crystal Palace superkid winger Sean Scannell in a deal worth around £3million. I can’t see Palace boss Simon Jordan selling his future crown jewell’s for a relatively low £3million though, can you? He was quoted months and months ago saying there would be no cheap departures.

The Birmingham Mail also claim O’Neill is also looking to firm up his interest in Tottenham’s Tom Huddlestone who would be worth around £5million according to the press talk valuers (!) as well as winger Aaron Lennon IF the move for James Milner doesn’t work out. Again, I’m not sure Ramos will be looking to off-load the promising youngsters that Martin Jol got to the club, they might have to spend a bit more time on the bench maybe but….?