Friday media watch [22.06.12 AM]: Lambert and Ireland in the news
Sun: Paul Lambert wants to make Senegal striker Ibrahmia Balde, 23, his first Aston Villa signing. But he is going to have to fork out £8m for the Osasuna hitman - and fight off Norwich, Sunderland and Reading. Sun: Darren Bent has urged new Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert to keep faith with Stephen Ireland. Ireland was voted the fans player of the year but there is a question over whether Lambert wants to keep the ex-Manchester City star.
Daily Star: Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert has been told to give Stephen Ireland a cuddle. Speculation has swept the club that the £8m midfielder could be one of the first out of the door under the new regime. But record-signing Darren Bent reckons Ireland is the best player at the club. And the £24m striker says a confident Ireland is something to behold.
Birmingham Mail: A large video wall is being restored in the North Stand at Villa Park, while the club are also introducing a smoking area outside the Holte End. The screen is returning to Villa Park by popular demand after consultation with supporters' groups, but the mini screen near the Cornerflag restaurant will also remain in place. A designated matchday smoking area will be located in the Holte End upper after successful trials.
Daily Star: Hull boss Steve Bruce has targeted free agent Brad Guzan, 27, as his main summer keeper target.
Clubcall: Darren Bent has called for Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert to give a run to Stephen Ireland in the 'hole' role behind the main striker.
Best of the Rest
BBC Sport: Cristiano Ronaldo says Portugal are 'ready to fight' for a place in the final of Euro 2012.
Sun: Roberto Mancini has begged Mario Balotelli not to be a 'pain in the backside' for Italy.
BBC Sport: Owen Hargreaves, a veteran of three major tournaments, believes Roy Hodgson's England have the spirit and togetherness to succeed at Euro 2012.
Sky Sports: Ashley Young appears to be winning his battle to overcome a shin injury ahead of England's Euro 2012 quarter-final with Italy.
*The extracts on this page are taken from various newspapers and media outlets. They do not necessarily reflect the views of Aston Villa.
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