Thursday media watch [21.01.16]
Daily Express: Aston Villa's new chairman says owner Randy Lerner is determined to turn them into one of the Premier League's best-run clubs before he walks away. That is despite the American billionaire putting the club - currently bottom of the table and staring at relegation - up for sale in 2014. He has struggled to find a buyer and now looks set to keep the club, but has put local businessman Steven Hollis and chief executive Tom Fox in charge and pledged to take a backseat. "Technically any asset in the world is for sale at the right price," said Hollis. "But Randy is pretty passionate about this place. "He wants it to go to whoever takes it on in the right state and he was pretty blunt in his press statement that it's not in the right state at the moment."
Daily Star: Randy Lerner will not leave Aston Villa in a mess, according to the club's new chairman. Steve Hollis says billionaire Lerner is determined instead to turn the Premier League's rock-bottom side into one of the best run clubs in the country. And he claims the American will not sell up until he has got Villa back on track.
Birmingham Mail: Steve Hollis is focused on connecting with the Aston Villa fans as he embarks on his new challenge at the struggling Premier League club. The new claret and blue chairman will attend the Supporters' Trust AGM on Thursday night as he settles into his new role and he's promised plenty more interaction. "If there is a disconnect there then it needs to be addressed," he said. "The fans are very important stakeholders in this business."
The Times: Lord King, the former governor of the Bank of England, is expected to become an Aston Villa director as part of the club's boardroom shake-up. The 67-year-old, a lifelong Villa supporter, is set to join the board as a non-executive director.
The Sun: Aston Villa are in talks with Nemanja Vidic about a shock return to the Premier League. Villa want the former Man Utd hero, 34, to join them for the rest of the campaign. Boss Rémi Garde needs more steel at the back as he chases an unlikely bid to beat the drop - and Vidic could be the answer.
Daily Express: Aston Villa are in talks with Nemanja Vidic about a shock return to the Premier League. Vidic is available on a free transfer after being released from his Inter Milan contract earlier this month. The 34-year-old defender joined the Nerazzurri in July 2014 and made 28 competitive appearances for the San Siro side, scoring one goal, but failed to feature this season after hernia and back injuries.
Reuters: Aston Villa defender Jose Angel Crespo has joined Spanish club Rayo Vallecano on loan until the end of the season, the Premier League Club has said. The 28-year-old was signed from relegated La Liga side Cordoba in July last year by former Villa manager Tim Sherwood, but has made two appearances all season, including one in the league.
Birmingham Mail: Better decisions make better outcomes. That's the blunt message from new Aston Villa chairman Steve Hollis who openly admits that the wrong calls have been made too often in the past. Owner Randy Lerner agrees, too, which is why Hollis has been appointed to shake things up at this under-performing club. "The board is now in charge of the stewardship of this company," says the former chairman of accountancy firm KPMG.
BBC Sport: West Brom keeper Ben Foster is warning that 40 points may not be enough to ensure Premier League survival this season, going into this Saturday's derby with bottom club Aston Villa. Albion, in 13th, will start the day 15 points ahead of struggling Villa. But Albion are only five points clear of trouble themselves and Foster warns: "You know what the derby game with Villa is all about. "It's going to be full-blooded. Two teams who badly need the points."
Birmingham Mail: Rémi Garde is still hoping to see more from Jack Grealish after the talented youngster failed to impress in the FA Cup win over Wycombe. The Villa boss admitted his side were not good enough collectively and also offered his opinion to a question in a press conference specficially relating to the 20-year-old academy graduate.
Best of the Rest
BBC Sport: Manchester United are expected to become world football's biggest earners in the next 12 months. Real Madrid topped Deloitte's Football Money League for the 11th consecutive year, generating 577m euro (£439m) in 2014/15.
Sky Sports: Kevin Nolan is expected to be named as Leyton Orient's player-manager on Thursday, Sky sources understand. Nolan is set to sign a two-and-a-half year contract and will succeed Ian Hendon at the League Two club.
BBC Sport: West Ham have signed full-back Sam Byram from Leeds United for an undisclosed fee. The 22-year-old had been in talks with Everton, but has instead signed a four-and-a-half-year deal with the Hammers. *The extracts on this page are taken from various newspapers and media outlets. They do not necessarily reflect the views of Aston Villa.
*The extracts on this page are taken from various newspapers and media outlets. They do not necessarily reflect the views of Aston Villa.