Wednesday media watch [25.07.12 AM]: Latest from Portland
Birmingham Mail: While he has been auditioning on the West Coast, she could be destined for the West End. Stephen Ireland is trying out for a leading role in Paul Lambert's new claret and blue production and hopes to be pitch perfect in time for the Premier premiere on August 18.
Birmingham Mail: They say charity begins at home. Well, Rick Leong started supporting Villa because of his charity work at home in California - and it resulted in him playing at the club's feted home of Villa Park.
Birmingham Mail: It's almost 5,000 miles from Aston Villa to Portland Timbers as the crow files. But since former Villa player and manager Vic Crowe flew to become Timbers' first ever coach 37 years ago, the clubs have seemed a whole lot closer.
The Sun: Darren Bent insists he will be fit for the start of the season. Aston Villa striker Bent has been out since February after rupturing ankle ligaments.
Daily Star: England striker Darren Bent has handed Aston Villa a massive pre-season boost by revealing he is raring to go again. The striker missed the last three months of the season with an ankle injury.
Guardian: Gabriel Agbonlahor has pledged his future to the club after being linked with a move to Sunderland. Agbonlahor, who has three years left on his current contract, insists he will be happy to remain with the midlands club for as long as he is wanted.
Mirror: Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert is ready to sign highly-rated Ipswich left-back Aaron Cresswell in a surprise £3.5million raid. Lambert hopes to seal the move today and bring Cresswell to the top-flight just a year after he quit League One Tranmere Rovers.
Mirror: Aston Villa stars are drooling over new midfield maestro Karim El Ahmadi. Boss Paul Lambert paid Feyenoord just £2million for the Moroccan ace.
Daily Express: Aston Villa striker Gabriel Agbonlahor insists he will not be swapping his local club for a reunion with former manager Martin O'Neill at Sunderland, despite being linked with a move to the North-east.
*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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