Monday media watch [01.02.16]
Birmingham Mail: Rémi Garde will make a fresh swoop for goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic in the summer - but his deadline day priority is a striker. Villa missed out on Kalinic after the Football Association rejected their second work permit appeal for the Croatian stopper. The transfer window closes tonight and Garde is determined to bring in a player to boost Villa's blunt strikeforce.
Daily Telegraph: Rémi Garde has suffered another transfer knockout after Seydou Doumbia snubbed Aston Villa to join Newcastle United. Doumbia was on Tyneside on Sunday night and is expected to join Newcastle on loan for the rest of the season, dealing another blow to Garde's hopes of making reinforcements.
Daily Mirror: LA Galaxy are prepared to test Aston Villa 's resolve over new skipper Joleon Lescott. Former England centre-back Lescott, 33, joined Villa on a two-year deal last summer. But despite recently being given the armband, the stopper has endured a difficult spell at the club he grew up supporting. Now MLS side Galaxy are prepared to give him a tempting three-year deal which has Lescott interested with Villa rooted to the bottom of the Premier League.
The Sun: Aston Villa have failed in a shock bid to sign flop Michu. The former Swansea striker is playing for Spanish fourth-tier outfit UP Langreo. But Michu, who has just returned from a 14-month lay-off after an ankle injury, snubbed Villa last week.
Daily Mail: Sunderland want Micah Richards to bolster their defence but have had an initial offer for Aston Villa's captain rejected. Richards only joined Aston Villa last summer but Sam Allardyce wants to bring him to the Stadium Of Light on deadline day to help bolster his club's survival prospects, having found it difficult to do a deal for Mathieu Debuchy from Arsenal. Villa, however, are reluctant to do business with their rivals, particularly at this late stage of the window but Sunderland would be ready to move if they are given any encouragement.
Daily Mail: Villa will go back to fighting for Premier League survival. Asked whether this result against Man City could have a knock-on effect, Rémi Garde said: "You never know. I don't want to blame any of my players. They tried to play, tried to do their best. We have 15 games to go to play for the survival of this football club and it's not the time to say whose fault is it. It's time to stick together."
Daily Star: There wasn't a lot Villa boss Rémi Garde could say that wasn't blindingly obvious after the Man City defeat - his team were simply outclassed. Garde said: "The teams weren't balanced before the game. Unfortunately we started very badly with the goal after four minutes, then a generous penalty. When you are 2-0 down after 25 minutes against this kind of side, it's very difficult."
Guardian: From the moment Kelechi Iheanacho pounced on a loose ball after a Fernando header to open the scoring, the home side never looked capable of rescuing the situation. Iheanacho's penalty midway through the first half after Raheem Sterling had been fouled confirmed the worst fears of the threadbare home crowd, and when Idrissa Gueye presented the 19-year-old with a third goal with a woefully underhit back pass it seemed to sum up Villa's tepid and timid approach. Iheanacho might even have had a fourth shortly afterwards but his attempted overhead shot turned instead into an assist for Sterling and leave last season's beaten finalists to concentrate on their parlous league position.
Four Four Two: Rémi Garde has urged Aston Villa to stick together as they begin a 15-game bid to salvage their Premier League status with a trip to West Ham. Villa were left to focus solely on their plight at the foot of the table on Saturday after Manchester City inflicted a chastening 4-0 defeat to end their participation in the FA Cup. It was the result of an error-strewn display, where Villa were behind in the fourth minute and midfielder Idrissa Gueye was culpable for errors in the build-up to City's third and fourth goals. But manager Garde does not believe it is time to play the blame game.
The Sun: This was a worrying day for Rémi Garde's struggling Aston Villa outfit. They will need to pick themselves up off the floor before they resume their desperate battle against the drop at West Ham on Tuesday night. And the fans sensed what was coming. Villa Park was barely half full and the vast expanses of empty seats told their own story as a paltry 23,636 showed up — and 6,000 of them were over in the City end.
Daily Mirror: Rémi Garde insists any recriminations over Aston Villa's dire season must wait until May. Villa's French boss saw his side's five-game unbeaten run halted in crushing style as Man City thrashed them 4-0 at home in the FA Cup. It leaves Villa with just a grim relegation battle ahead as the Premier League's bottom club are 10 points adrift of safety.
Birmingham Mail: Rémi Garde was encouraged by Gabby Agbonlahor's comeback cameo and declared: "He can be an important player" for Aston Villa. Agbonlahor came on as a 65th minute replacement for Scott Sinclair in the 4-0 FA Cup fourth round defeat to Manchester City. Prior to that the Brummie striker had only played a minute under Garde as a substitute in the early December draw at Southampton.
Best of the Rest
BBC Sport: Chelsea captain John Terry has not been offered a new contract and will leave the club at the end of the season. The 35-year-old defender, who joined the club at the age of 14, has won four Premier League titles, five FA Cups and the Champions League with the Blues.
Sky Sports: Shrewsbury have been drawn at home to Manchester United in the FA Cup fifth round. The League One club - the lowest-ranked side left in the competition following their win over Sheffield Wednesday - will host the 11-time winners at their New Meadow stadium.
BBC Sport: Newcastle United have made a £21m bid to sign striker Saido Berahino from fellow Premier League club West Brom. Baggies boss Tony Pulis said Berahino, 22, had "wasted three or four months" after a move to Tottenham was blocked last August.
*The extracts on this page are taken from various newspapers and media outlets. They do not necessarily reflect the views of Aston Villa.