Date: 5th June 2008 at 9:48am
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Another day of expectations from football fans the length and breadth of the country for their team to grab ‘the’ player that will make the difference next season. According to Stan Collymore, talking to the official site, Martin O’Neill will bring in some ‘top stars’ to help Villa push on.

He said: ‘Villa are up there now and Martin O’Neill certainly doesn’t need anyone to tell him about what he needs and who he needs to buy. The problem Villa have is that Manchester City, Portsmouth and Spurs are all not far behind them and looking at spending money as well. They will also be after similar players. The advantage Villa have however is their manager. Martin, once you meet him, is quite persuasive and loyal to the players he does take on board.’

Adding, ‘If there is one man who can attract good players it is him and that might yet be the key to Gareth Barry staying. Villa need players and Martin is the man to bring them in.’

So what rumours do we have today and with Randy Lerner in England helping the manager as much as he can, maybe some action isn’t too far away?

The Sun claim that Aston Villa, Everton and Portsmouth are watching Steven Taylor’s situation as the Newcastle centre-back hasn’t as yet agreed a new deal with the Magpies and his contract runs out next summer. The England U21 captain, who the report claims is rated at around £8million, is supposedly upset at the lack of contract talks and will walk out on a free next season if they don’t sort his future out.

The Daily Mirror claim that Villa have their eye on 37-year-old Blackburn keeper Brad Friedel. They say that Villa would be willing to pay around £3million for this ‘short term solution’.

The Daily Mail repeat the rumour that Peter Crouch will be a makeweight in the deal that will see Gareth Barry move to Anfield. O’Neill would also want £8million on top of the England striker that Rafa has valued at £15million. Meanwhile Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp has said he won’t pay £15million for Crouch but would be interested if the player was available for around £10million.

The Telegraph have repeated the rumour that Manchester City defender Richard Dunne is MON’s wish-list.

The Telegraph also claim Villa are set to make a move for 18-year-old Real Valladolid goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo, who has a buy-out clause of £3.3 million.

They also re-hash the rumours that we want Portsmouth midfielder Pedro Mendes and are looking to sign Stephen Carr who is now a free agent having been released by Newcastle (I believe that all contracts like that end on July 1st).

Blimey, this is Telegraph day today as they also have a report saying Villa are closer than Arsenal and Chelsea to signing Valencia defender Miguel at a cut-back price. They also say another possible replacement for Olof Mellberg is Wigan defender Paul Scharner.

The Sun say that Shaun Wright-Phillips and Steve Sidwell won’t make any decisions on their Chelsea futures until the new manager is appointed. The report claims that Portsmouth are confident of signing Wright-Phillips for an initial £8million and that Villa have already agreed a £5m fee for Sidwell.