Date: 3rd January 2008 at 11:48am
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Martin O’Neill has spoken about the January transfer window and wants to build on the effort the team have made so far this summer taking Villa as high as 6th and currently 7th.

He told avfc.co.uk:

‘We’re going to spend some of this month trying to strengthen the squad because the players have made a colossal effort and we wouldn’t want to throw it away now. We’ve had a decent start. Strengthening will be easier said than done. If people ask am I going to be signing someone today, the answer is ‘no’. But we’ll do all we can. We’re looking at a couple of things. It’s well noted we’ve got the smallest squad in the Premier League.’

Adding, ‘We’ve got six ever-presents and you would imagine if Scott Carson had been available against Liverpool, it might have been seven. We’ve got three, established goalkeepers in that group of 23 so we’re down to 20, which includes Stephen O’Halloran and Moustapha Salifou who have never played a game for us, Patrik Berger and Isaiah Osbourne. So we need to try to address that if we can. I wouldn’t estimate on numbers at this stage.’

Reports in The Telegraph today are suggesting Liverpool will have to sell in order to raise funds to sign Javier Mascherano. The possible exits according to the report are Mohammed Sissoko, John Arne Riise and Peter Crouch. Riise, it is rumoured, nearly moved to Villa in the summer and former Villa, Southampton and Portsmouth striker Peter Crouch has been linked to a £12million move back to Villa Park several times.

Another report suggests that another constantly linked player, this time Spurs Jermain Defoe, has been told by the White Hart Lane club to sign a new contract or leave this January.

In other gossip The Star say that MON will offer £1m for 20-year-old Leicester City defender Richard Stearman and the Mirror has Villa goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen pleading to be released from his contract.

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