Date: 17th August 2008 at 11:17am
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The Sunday Express claim that Villa will test the resolve of Chelsea this week with a £10million bid for Joe Cole. Got to say I don’t believe these reports. We might – please please please – conceivably test their resolve, but I can’t see for the life of me that we’d bid £10million for a player of that quality, that is Liverpool’s style not ours! The reports about our £10million bid for former Blackburn Rovers winger David Bentley were totally wrong, we bid far far more competitively (but he wanted to go to London so fair play, ended up at Spurs).

In the News of the World Martin O’Neill has bemoaned the fact that the press have praised Manchester United’s stance on Ronaldo but ‘lambasted’ Villa over ours with Gareth Barry. ‘We got lambasted by some for our stance of Gareth Barry and sticking to what we thought was right. Manchester United were lauded for their approach to Ronaldo. Of course I admire their stand. I just believe we did a similar thing.’ Must admit, I’ve not seen a great deal of criticism and thought that fellow managers, fans and the press had been quite supportive that Villa have shown that we won’t be bullied into selling players?

The Sunday Mirror say Villa will give debuts to former Middlesbrough right-back Luke Young and ex Rangers defender Carlos Cuellar today v Manchester City.

The News of the World say that Ashley Young could get a double your money deal to extend his contract at Aston Villa following new contract extensions for John Carew and Gabby Agbonlahor last week

The Observer ask if Villa can break the top four and quote O’Neill: ‘It’s difficult, but if I didn’t think I could do it I don’t think there’s any real point in hanging around. If we can keep our better players, get into the top four then the acquiring of better players in the forthcoming season should be easier.’

The Sunday Mercury have a report claiming Villa won’t take no for an answer in the pursuit of Newcastle winger James Milner. Kevin Keegan has said that Milner is not for sale after a reported £9million bid from Villa but this report claims O’Neill is a ‘strong admire’ of the player and they claim Milner is keen to move back (after a season long loan) to Villa Park which contradicts a report in the Mirror last week quoting ‘sources’ that he wanted to remain with the Toon as long as he was given some assurances of his chances for first team football.

Shaun Maloney is still being linked with a move back to Celtic. Yawn.