Aston Villa have been linked with a move for Samuel Yohou – but a swoop for the Paris FC defender is highly unlikely.
Steve Bruce knows additions will be needed this summer to replace some of the departing first-team stars.
But the boss is yet to draw up a transfer wishlist as financial uncertainy continues to have an impact on Villa’s plans.
A new centre-half is needed as skipper John Terry has already departed following the club’s promotion failure.
Yohou, who is a free agent has been linked with the cash-strapped Championship club, but Villa are likely to have other targets ahead of the 26-year-old Ivorian.
Villa have a long-term interest in Robert Huth who is now available on a free transfer following his release from Leicester City.
Bruce will also weigh up a move for Axel Tuanzebe on loan again. It’s not clear at this stage whether Manchester United will allow him to join the Championship outfit for a second season.
More Villa news and views
The loan rangers.
The just-passing-through brigade more likely to shack up at a hotel than putting down roots.
Since the start of the millennium Aston Villa have occasionally called upon loan players to give them a temporary lift.
Some of them have departed and been forgotten as quickly as they arrived, others hung around a little bit longer.
Some made an instant impact, others didn’t even kick a ball competitively.
Just last season, Villa used the loan market to bring in Robert Snodgrass (West Ham), Lewis Grabban (Bournemouth), Sam Johnstone and Axel Tuanzebe (Manchester United) and Josh Onomah (Tottenham Hotspur).
We want you to tell us the loanees you loved, the loanees you laughed at and the loanees you long to consign to the past.
From Gustavo Bartelt to Kyle Walker and Robbie Keane to Jermaine Jenas we’ve listed them in this nifty Playbuzz widget below – now we want you to rank them from best to worst.
You can vote players up and down.
Over to you…
Former Aston Villa and England midfielder Joe Cole has been appointed to his first coaching role – but he hasn’t given up playing just yet.
The 36-year-old has been confirmed as the assistant manager of United Soccer League club Tampa Bay Rowdies, following former Three Lions teammates Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard into making the transition from pitch to dugout.
Gerrard, the Rangers manager, and Lampard, the Derby boss, both hung up their boots in 2016, but Cole says his primary focus still remains on what he can offer as a player.
Cole said: “I’m very excited to start this chapter of my career with the Rowdies.
“I have a lot of experience to pass on to the players and I want to play a role in elevating this club to new heights.
“My primary role is still to play on the field, but I’m very excited to step into coaching as well.”
Cole, who earned 56 England caps and played at four major tournaments, joined Villa from West Ham United in 2014.
He made 16 appearances for the club across two seasons, and was sent to Coventry City on loan, after previously turning out for Chelsea and Liverpool.
Rowdies head coach Neill Collins said: “Joe has an incredible store of knowledge about the game to share with our young players and with our coaching staff.
“One of the main provisos of me taking the head coaching job a few weeks ago was that I wanted to open an avenue for Joe to share that knowledge as an assistant coach.”
Sacked on Twitter
Former Aston Villa defender Gary Charles says he found out on Twitter that he had been sacked as manager of Nuneaton.
Charles learned of his fate this weekend when the Vanarama National League North club announced the appointment of Nicky Eaden as their new boss.
The 48-year-old ex-England international had been in charge at Nuneaton since the end of March.
Charles took to social media to claim he had not had any contact with club chairman Lee Thorn over the decision to remove him from the post.
Tweeting from his @GaryCharlesFRJ account, Charles said: “Found out through Twitter that I am no longer manager at Nuneaton FC.
“Not had any contact with the chairman to let me know so I just want to say thank you to the fans for your fantastic support, to the players and staff I wish you all the best for future. Gary.”
Charles also played for Nottingham Forest, Derby County, Benfica and West Ham, as well as loan spells at Birmingham City and Leicester City.
In response to the tweet from Charles, Nuneaton issued a statement on their club website to clarify the situation about the change of manager.
“In the light of the recent announcement of Nicky Eaden as the club’s new Manager, Nuneaton Town have clarified the status of Gary Charles’ position whilst with the club.
“Gary never had a contract and was working for the club on an informal basis to guide them through to the end of the season.
“We believed that the situation was clear and regret that it has led to such confusion. We’d like to thank Gary for his time and wish him all of the best for the future.”
Eaden is back at Liberty Way having previously been a caretaker manager at the club.
The former Birmingham City full-back, who has had youth and assistant coaching roles at Leicester City, Coventry City and Kettering Town, said: “The time felt right to take the next step and become a manager, and this opportunity was perfect for me.
“I have known Lee Thorn since we were at Kettering at the same time, so I have kept in touch with him, and due to my posts at Leicester and then Coventry I have watched Nuneaton a lot over the years.”
How much is he worth?
He’s a man in demand.
James Chester’s fine form for Aston Villa has attracted interest from a host of Premier League suitors.
Not only is Chester a class act, but he is consistent. He has been ever-present in Villa’s Championship campaigns since he arrived in August 2016.
It hasn’t gone unnoticed by a clutch of top flight clubs, believed to include Burnley, Brighton & Hove Albion, and relegated Stoke City, who are said to be monitoring his situation.
Villa don’t want to sell him – that much is obvious.
But will they be able to resist offers for the Welsh international as the cash crisis continues to bite at the club following their promotion failure?
Villa paid £8 million for Chester when former boss Roberto Di Matteo signed him from local rivals West Bromwich Albion two summers ago.
At 29 he is now in his prime, has Premier League experience, is rarely injured and has two years left on his claret and blue contract.
Does that make him worth more now than he was when Villa bought him, or does Villa’s cash crisis give clubs encouragement of getting him for a bargain fee?
Using our nifty little widget here, we want you to tell us what you think is a fair price for Chester – if Villa are forced to sell him?
Burn in ambition
Steve Bruce is targeting Dan Burn as a potential signing to bolster the centre of Aston Villa’s defence, according to reports.
Villa have already waved farewell to John Terry and Chris Samba this summer, while Tommy Elphick is expected to join Championship rivals Reading.
With James Chester’s Villa future uncertain, Bruce knows the squad is in need of defensive reinforcements.
The Sun claim Bruce will turn his attentions to Wigan Athletic defender Burn, who spent half a season on loan at rivals Birmingham City in 2013-14.
Burn helped the Latics to the League One title last season, in a defence that conceded just 29 goals, and has a year left on his contract.
The 6ft 6ins centre-half , who has also played for Darlington, Fulham and Yeovil, has been a Wigan team-mate of Bruce’s son Alex, who is said to rate him highly.
Following the departures of Terry, Samba and the likely exit of Elphick, Chester’s only cover and competition would be versatile midfielder Mile Jedinak and rookies Easah Suliman and Mitch Clark.
Source : BirminghamMail