Thursday media watch [14.01.16]
Birmingham Mail: Rémi Garde is set to make his first Aston Villa signing by swooping for versatile Bordeaux defender Lamine Sane. The 28-year-old Senegal international will join Villa on loan until the end of the season if an agreement can be finalised. Bordeaux's chairman Jean-Louis Triaud has confirmed to French journalists that the Ligue One club are in talks with Villa about a deal for Sane. Sane, who is also interesting Turkish club Besiktas, is a central defender who can play as a defensive midfielder too.
Daily Telegraph: Rémi Garde is close to signing Bordeaux defender Lamine Sane as he bids to strengthen his Aston Villa squad. Garde has moved for the Senegal international and hopes to complete a loan deal which will run to the end of the season. Sane, 28, can play in the centre of defence or as a defensive midfielder and Villa want to finalise a deal with Bordeaux in the next 24 hours. Villa are battling to make at least two other loan signings this month, with Chelsea striker Loic Remy and Arsenal defender Mathieu Debuchy among their targets.
Daily Mirror: Rémi Garde is ready to make Bordeaux defender Lamine Sane his first signing. Frenchman Garde, fresh from his first victory in 11 attempts as Aston Villa boss, has backing to bring in players on loan to boost the club's fight against relegation. Bordeaux's chairman Jean-Louis Triaud has confirmed the Ligue One club are in talks with the rock-bottom Villans about a deal for Sane. The 28-year-old Senegal international is now set to join on loan until the end of the season.
Clubcall: Aston Villa are closing in on their first signing of the transfer window after agreeing a loan deal for Bordeaux defender Lamine Sane. Villa boss Rémi Garde has found it tough persuading players to make the switch to Villa Park on a permanent basis given the club's current position at the foot of the Premier League but is having more success in the loan market. According to reports, the Villans have come to terms with Bordeaux over a loan deal for centre half Sane, who is set to finalise his switch to the Midlands before this weekend's game with Leicester.
Guardian: Jores Okore believes Aston Villa are capable of pulling off what would go down as the Premier League's greatest escape, provided they can follow up their first win since the opening day of the season with two victories against Leicester City and West Bromwich Albion. Speaking after Villa defeated Crystal Palace on Tuesday to end a winless run in the league that stretched back to early August, Okore refused to accept relegation is a foregone conclusion and said "everything seems possible" if they beat Leicester and Albion. Although that will be easier said than done for a team who remain anchored to the foot of the table, there was no escaping the change in the mood at Villa Park on the back of the 1-0 victory over Palace.
Daily Express: Jores Okore insists Aston Villa can follow the example of Leicester and become this season's great escape artists after finally breaking their duck with new manager Rémi Garde. The central defender believes a first victory in 11 under the Frenchman, albeit a scrappy 1-0 against Crystal Palace on Tuesday, has the potential to kick-start their season. Villa face Leicester next at home on Saturday followed by West Brom away.
Sky Sports: Jores Okore dismissed suggestions Aston Villa need a miracle to survive and insisted they can emulate Leicester's great escape. The defender wants to continue their revival by beating the Foxes on Saturday - live on Saturday Night Football on Sky Sports - after the morale-boosting 1-0 win over Crystal Palace on Tuesday. Joleon Lescott's header gave Villa their first win in five months and secured Rémi Garde's first victory as manager in 11 attempts. Rock-bottom Villa host the high-flying Foxes, who survived last season by winning seven of their last nine games, having looked dead and buried. And defender Okore feels Villa can emulate them if they win at the weekend and also beat West Brom in their following Premier League game.
Four Four Two: Aston Villa defender Jores Okore insists his team can avoid Premier League relegation despite their struggles this season. Rémi Garde's men were given a huge boost with a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace on Tuesday - their second of the season and first since the opening day. Despite that result, Villa are still eight points from safety over halfway into the season, leaving them in a dire situation in their bid to avoid relegation from the Premier League for the first time. But Okore said the belief within Garde's squad was strong heading into the latter stages of the season.
Goal.com: Aston Villa defender Jores Okore has cited the heroics of Leicester City's transformation from relegation strugglers to joint league leaders as an inspiration to their survival hopes. Rémi Garde's men were given a huge boost with a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace on Tuesday - their second of the season and first since the opening day. Despite that result, Villa are still eight points from safety over halfway into the season, leaving them in a dire situation in their bid to avoid relegation from the Premier League for the first time. Villa next face Leicester City and West Brom and Okore believes Claudio Ranieri's men - who escaped relegation last season and now lead the Premier League - prove anything is possible.
Birmingham Mail: Relegation rivals Swansea City are set to sound out Aston Villa about Scott Sinclair's availability. The Swans, who remain eight points above Villa after losing at home to fellow strugglers Sunderland this evening, are interested in taking the former favourite back to the Liberty Stadium, according to sources in south Wales. Sinclair has three-and-a-half years left on the deal he signed when he made his loan move from Manchester City permanent in the summer.
Football Italia: Hellas Verona are hoping to bolster their defence with Aston Villa's Philippe Senderos. They are currently bottom of the Serie A table and the only side without a single victory halfway through the season. Senderos is in a not entirely dissimilar situation at Aston Villa, but could return to Serie A, according to Sky Sport Italia. The 30-year-old Swiss international had a brief spell at Milan in 2008/09.
Birmingham Mail: Aston Villa utility man Leandro Bacuna believes that Aston Villa can still stay up and the team still have hope. He said the season so far had been a "difficult time" but the win against Crystal Palace will spur them on. With the club sitting rock-bottom of the Premier League, Remi Garde's side dug deep to win their first home game of the season. It was the Frenchman's first victory since arriving in November and just Villa's second in the league this term, with the other coming on opening day in August. But Bacuna believes their maiden win under Garde can be a turning point for the players and supporters in their relegation fight.
Best of the Rest
BBC Sport: Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp defended under-fire goalkeeper Simon Mignolet after his latest uncertain display in the draw with Arsenal at Anfield. Mignolet struggled as the Reds twice gave away the lead in a thrilling 3-3 draw with the Premier League leaders.
Sky Sports: Pep Guardiola has claimed it could be two years before he manages a club in the Premier League. Guardiola revealed earlier this year he would leave Bayern Munich when his contract expires at the end of the season because he wanted to manage in England's top flight.
BBC Sport: Sunderland won an "enormous, enormous" three points as they overcame fellow relegation strugglers Swansea, according to manager Sam Allardyce. The 4-2 victory against 10 men moved the Black Cats to within a point of the Welsh side, who are 17th in the table.
*The extracts on this page are taken from various newspapers and media outlets. They do not necessarily reflect the views of Aston Villa.