Tuesday media watch [12.01.16]
Birmingham Mail: Rémi Garde has asked the board to back his hardline stance to get rid of his Aston Villa undesirables this month. Garde is keen to move on Charles N'Zogbia and Gabby Agbonlahor as he strives to "improve the atmosphere at the club." Speaking in his press conference ahead of today's match against Crystal Palace, Garde talked of the potential prospect of 'paying players to leave'. It is thought the manager was referring to N'Zogbia as there have been talks about reaching an agreement over the final six months of the winger's contract. Agbonlahor still has two-and-a-half years left and the claret and blues would not contemplate paying up that length of deal. But the Brummie striker could be allowed to leave for free if there is a club prepared to take him off Villa's hands.
Daily Star: Rémi Garde has told billionaire owner Randy Lerner the Aston Villa crisis is even worse than he thinks. Villa boss Garde has sent a transatlantic warning to Lerner that the squad he splashed £55m on in the summer needs major surgery. The club's power brokers are currently in New York spelling out a damning 'rip it up and start again' verdict from Garde on the squad he inherited. Villa are bottom of the table with just eight points and only one league win all season - at Bournemouth on the opening day.
Sky Sports: Aston Villa manager Rémi Garde has revealed that potential new players are turning the club down because of their plight. The Frenchman, whose side are bottom of the Premier League after just one win all season, has admitted the squad needs a complete overhaul, again, in the long-term future but the winter transfer window is not the time to do it. Villa signed 13 new players in the summer under former boss Tim Sherwood but they are 11 points from safety ahead of a club summit in New York this week that will include chief executive Tom Fox and sporting director Hendrik Almstadt.
TalkSPORT: Rémi Garde admits Aston Villa's squad needs major surgery and revealed he is already losing out on players. The boss knows he must revamp his squad but insisted it will take time with Villa bottom of the Barclays Premier League.Villa signed 13 news players in the summer under former boss Tim Sherwood but they are 11 points from safety having failed to win since the opening day. Chief executive Tom Fox and sporting director Hendrik Almstadt were in New York on Monday to meet owner Randy Lerner to talk about transfer plans. Villa host Crystal Palace on Tuesday and Garde conceded, despite their summer spending, he will need to overhaul the struggling squad again.
Daily Telegraph: Gerard Houllier has insisted that Rémi Garde will prove a success at Aston Villa but admits his former protégé needs "two or three" new signings to save the club's season from further misery. Houllier is backing Garde to revive the struggling club despite a nightmare introduction to the Premier League, with Villa rooted to the bottom of the table with only eight points all season. Garde has yet to win a game since his appointment and a defeat against Crystal Palace on Tuesday night will ensure that he has earned the same number of points from 10 league games as Tim Sherwood, who was sacked in October. Houllier, a former Villa manager, believes that Garde is struggling to implement his philosophy due to the current squad and hopes that Randy Lerner will provide money for signings this month.
The Sun: Randy Lerner is ready to break his five-year media silence - after under-fire manager Rémi Garde begged with him to communicate with fans. The American billionaire has refused to give any TV or radio interviews in his 10 year reign at Villa Park - and has only granted a couple of rare interviews to handpicked written journalists since Martin O'Neill's acrimonious departure five and a half years ago. However, the French boss has been pleading for weeks with Villa's board to convince his reclusive owner to engage with his fans, whose patience snapped amid furious protests following Saturday's humiliating FA cup draw with League Two Wycombe. Now Garde's pleas appear to have been heard.
Birmingham Mail: Club captain Gabby Agbonlahor is set for crunch talks about his future with Aston Villa boss Rémi Garde. Agbonlahor has been made available for transfer this summer and there is even a suggestion he could be allowed to leave for free if there is a club prepared to take him off Villa's hands. The Brummie forward was axed from Garde's first team squad last month after failing to impress the manager in training and has also been suffering with a back problem. Garde has been told by Villa's medics that Agbonlahor's injury situation has improved and the boss now plans to discuss the striker's commitment levels with him.
Birmingham Mail: Rémi Garde has explained his lack of January additions so far and insisted: It's harder to sign players in the real world than in Football Manager on the PlayStation. With a third of the transfer window gone, Garde is yet to bring in any reinforcements despite working hard to try to convince targets to come to Aston Villa. But with Tom Fox and Hendrik Almstadt flying to New York for a board meeting with owner Randy Lerner, Garde is hopeful that new players will arrive soon.
Daily Star: Keith Millen has ordered Crystal Palace to pile more misery on crisis-club Aston Villa. Millen admits angry Villa fans can help Palace by getting stuck into their own team again tonight. "The Villa fans are hurting because it's a massive club and they don't want to see their club where they are," said assistant boss Millen. "You're looking for something in the game to cling onto, whether it's the first goal - something to get the crowd behind you. "We've got to make sure we're ready for the start of the game and don't give them anything to get their encouragement up."
Best of the Rest
BBC Sport: Louis van Gaal admits he has been "very bored or angry" during some Manchester United games this season. The Old Trafford boss said he had "enjoyed" some matches during a campaign defined by the Dutchman's possession-based tactics.
Sky Sports: Lionel Messi has won the 2015 FIFA Ballon d'Or award, scooping the best player in the world accolade for a record fifth time. The 28-year-old claimed the 2015 award - voted for by a panel of journalists, international coaches and captains - at the annual ceremony in Zurich on Monday evening.
BBC Sport: Bournemouth have re-signed striker Lewis Grabban from Norwich City for a fee of about £7m. The 27-year-old left the Cherries for Carrow Road in 2014 and has returned on a three-and-a-half-year contract.
*The extracts on this page are taken from various newspapers and media outlets. They do not necessarily reflect the views of Aston Villa.