Date: 28th August 2008 at 3:17pm
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Martin O’Neill has again stated that he is still looking to add to the squad.

He told the official site: ‘We are looking for a run in this competition and that will obviously mean a lot more games this season. That’s why we’re trying to build a squad that would be able to cope with that. If you look at a side in many ways similar to ourselves last season – Everton – I don’t think they would have been able to cope with the size of the squad that we had last year. Certainly if we’d been in Everton’s position – with a run in Europe – it would have been an impossibility to have done that.’

And again repeats he wants Villa to be stronger not only in numbers but also quality.

Ok, that over, the press are obviously linking us with James Milner following the revelation from Newcastle United that the player has put in a transfer request. The Guardian amongst others have quotes from Mick McGuire who represents Milner saying the player has had very little option but to ask for a move, something he did on the 20th of August, because the Magpies have refused to enter into contract talks with the player. He added, ‘I note the comments on the [official Newcastle] website, the contents of which disappoint me because James Milner was left with no option, in his opinion, but to formally ask for a transfer following the club’s total refusal to offer him a new contract. The contract which was signed a year ago was agreed more than 11 months before that, when they refused to let his transfer to Aston Villa go through on deadline day [in August 2006]. A new deal was agreed in principle and it took until the following July to be established. In that time James has played two seasons in Newcastle’s first team and he was asking for a [salary] figure that reflects that. James feels that his salary does not reflect his value in the market.’

The long and the short? Milner could well be at Villa Park before the game against Liverpool this sunday. Which team he would be lining up for is another matter although as we have the money and he enjoyed his loan spell at Villa, I’d not bet against it being us!

The other snippet I saw, on Setanta Sports, was a link to former Celtic legend Henrik Larsson. The 36-year-old is apparently available and is being linked to both Villa and Celtic after Helsingborg said they would be prepared to let him go. The player himself says that he has two options, he obviously doesn’t say what they are but it is fairly easy to see the Celtic and Martin O’Neill links. At 36-years-old I’m not totally convinced although he did a decent job on loan at Manchester United last season!

Larsson said: ‘Whether the club wants to sell me is up to them. Should that be the case, I will then make a decision. There are only two options for me, whether I accept or do not.’

We certainly need another striker, short term he might well plug the gap and the guy has always been quality, but…… I reckon this is just wild speculation and have to admit, whilst it might have worked under the previous regime, with the new boys in charge it is surely time we started getting players in their prime, not at the end of their careers. I’m sure we will