Villa Park outfit would very much like to go on spending spree this summer but will Mr. Lerner open his hefty wallet?
MARTIN O’NEILL wants to pack FOUR Irishmen into his luxury Villa this summer – with Robbie Keane, Kevin Doyle, Aidan McGeady and Stephen Ireland ALL on his hit-list.
But the Aston Villa boss faces competition from Birmingham for McGeady and Manchester United and Everton for Ireland.
And Mick McCarthy’s Wolves side are preparing to break their strict wage-budget to try and bring Keane back to his first club.
However, Keane’s next destination is almost certainly going to be Villa, who made a belated move for the Irish skipper in the January transfer window but Keane had already committed his short-term future to Tottenham.
And despite Harry Redknapp’s claims that Keane still has a future at White Hart Lane, the reality is Spurs will offload him if they receive a bid in excess of £10million.
O’Neill also has his sights on Doyle, McGeady and Ireland – but his pursuit of that trio comes with terms and conditions attached.
He will only move for Ireland if James Milner is tempted by a move to one of the big five – although a possible swap deal with Manchester City is on the cards.
Secondly, getting Doyle out of Wolves will be a tall order as the ex-Reading striker has built up a close relationship with McCarthy.
McGeady, however, is on his radar but again O’Neill is treading carefully on this subject because of his close friendship with Celtic owner, Dermot Desmond. (News of the World)
Given that Villa fans will have been inundated with speculation surrounding the futures of the likes of Ashley Young, Gabriel Agbonlahor and James Milner its probably refreshing to see the midlands side linked with signing new players this summer rather than offloading any of their prized assets. The thing is, are these moves realistic?
Well yes they are. All four are definitely within Martin O’Neill’s grasp but clearly signing the entire quartet may be a little pricey. Of the four Stephen Ireland would be the peach, but the Man City man could well decide to stick it out at Eastlands and hope to prove his worth to Roberto Mancini.
Robbie Keane would also be a damned good signing. The Irish international is a proven Premier League goalscorer and someone who puts in a good shift and who could work well alongside Agbonlahor. A move for winger Aiden McGeady could lead some to speculate that either Milner or Ashley Young could be on their way out of Villa Park.
Clearly any investment in the team depends very much on how much owner Randy Lerner chooses to pump into the team as they continue their quest for a place in the coveted top four.