Belfast Telegraph

McLeish planning summer overhaul

Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish admits he will look to overhaul his squad this summer but stressed he wants to keep star strikers Darren Bent and Gabriel Agbonlahor.

McLeish has been under instructions to reduce the club's wage bill this season and the reason why became evident after the club reported a loss of nearly £54 million this week for 2010-2011. He will have money available to buy players - although only a limited number - and is already eyeing up a series of possible Bosman signings.

McLeish said: "We've already made plans to bring some players in. We've looked at a lot of players that we have a good chance of bringing to the club, Bosman signings but of a good quality."

He added: "There are targets as well that cost money. I am sure the chairman (Randy Lerner) would do massive wages again as long as it was kept inside the framework and parameters. I can assure the fans we will be in the market for players who cost money - but we only be targeting a couple of those types of players."

McLeish will look to offload some players and admitted: "I couldn't keep everybody and add to the squad. We'd have to trade carefully.

"Like I said in January, if somebody coveted one of our players and maybe I had to sacrifice to strengthen other positions, then that's something that could be the way ahead in terms of the plans."

But when asked if that meant either Bent or Agbonlahor, McLeish said: "No. There would be some players that we would obviously like to hold onto for the long run."


From Belfast Telegraph