Belfast Telegraph

MacDonald expects bids for players

Kevin MacDonald expects Aston Villa's players to be the target of Barclays Premier League predators after failing to qualify for the Europa League but he insisted no-one under contract would be leaving before the transfer window closes on Tuesday if they are still needed by the midlands club.

Ashley Young has been consistently the target of speculation linking him with a move to Tottenham who this week booked their place in the Champions League for the first time.

Caretaker boss MacDonald said: "I am sure clubs will be interested in players because there are some good players at Aston Villa. You'd expect not being in Europe to be a factor but you'd expect it from the clubs that are playing in Europe in that they might want an extra big player."

He continued: "We've had not anything (enquiries) as such. People would have told me if there were any enquiries. We've had nothing so far.

"But in terms of convincing players to stay, it might not be their choice. If the club needs them, and they are under contract, the club will probably want to keep them."

MacDonald, who will decide after Sunday's game with Everton if he wants to apply for the job on a permanent basis, believes the squad may need strengthening after the losses to Newcastle and Rapid.

He said: "I think the results over the last two games would suggest that. As far as I know there is nothing on the horizon. I've been asked about who I thought might improve the team. I am not about to divulge that but I have been asked.

"But the big thing coming from when Martin O'Neill left was that a lot of the squad players were disgruntled.

"Those squad players have been given an opportunity to play. Whether it is one or two games, they have to come up to speed very, very quickly.

"There are lot of players with international experience in the squad. Whether we need to change the squad around a bit, that remains to be seen."


From Belfast Telegraph