Flashback 1992-93: Wegerle in Big Ron's sights
Paper: Birmingham Post
Blackburn Rovers striker Roy Wegerle has emerged as Ron Atkinson's latest transfer target.
The Aston Villa manager, anxious to strengthen his attack before the start of the new Premier League campaign, has made a renewed inquiry about the player.
He first showed interest in the 28-year-old former Luton and QPR forward in early summer.
But then Blackburn boss Kenny Dalglish was still looking to recoup the full £1.2m he paid for the South African-born striker.
Now Blackburn seem prepared to let Wegerle go for up to half what they paid for him.
Paper: Sunday Mercury
Aston Villa's £825,000 midfielder Ray Houghton is aiming to add more silverware to his trophy cabinet as Villa prepare for the first season of Premier League football.
The 30-year-old Eire international, who signed for Ron Atkinson in preference for joining Chelsea when he left Liverpool last month, is still hungry for success despite having won every major honour in the domestic game.
Having been part of Oxford United's League Cup winning team in 1986, he went on to collect winners medals from two league championships and two FA Cup finals in his five seasons at Anfield.
En route to last season's FA Cup triumph, he helped dump Villa out in the quarter-finals but he said: "There is nothing I would like more than to go back to Wembley with Villa this season.
"Once you've been to Wembley and won a cup final you want to do it again and again.
"I want to go on winning things. I haven't come to Villa just to play out four years of a contract.
"I could have gone to Chelsea but I got a gut feeling that Villa would be the best club for me. There's a great squad of players here and we can be successful."
Having been signed after Villa's pre-season build-up had begun, Houghton was a latecomer to the team's Premier League preparations and has played in only two of the warm-up matches.
But the short tour to Germany helped him get to know his new colleagues and he said: "I've settled in really quickly.
"It's still a learning process at the moment - me getting used to the lads and them to me. But it's going well and I can't wait for the season to get started.
"I thought Villa did well last season and this year we will obviously be aiming to do better.
"I don't think it's wise to make predictions but if we get a good start I certainly feel we can be there or thereabouts at the end of the season.
"It's going to be a difficult league but it could be wide open - last year there were five or six teams battling it out and it will probably be the same this time.
"I enjoyed my stay at Liverpool. I thought I did well for them last season but they saw my future elsewhere so that was it."
Paper: Birmingham Post
Wolves striker Steve Bull ably demonstrated just why Villa manager Ron Atkinson wanted to reach for his cheque book with two marvellous goals in the Stan Cullis testimonial at Molineux.
Bull, a long-term target of Atkinson, gave goalkeeper Nigel Spink no possible chance with two blistering angled shots to brilliantly cancel out Villa's two goal advantage.
The £2.5m-rated striker - who has signed a one-year extension to his contract and rented an executive box at Molineux for his family and friends next season - was in tremendous form.
He struck for the first time in the 69th minute when he ran on to a powerful header from fit-again Shane Westley with the Villa defence caught completely on the wrong foot.
The determined Bull shook off a strong challenge from defender Shaun Teale to beat Spink with a well-placed drive into the far corner.
Then, in the 85th minute, Bull levelled the scoreline when he crowned a penetrating move engineered by Mark Burke and Andy Mutch with another clinical piece of finishing.
Villa had enjoyed a flying start when they took the lead after just 45 seconds.
German midfielder Matthias Breitkreutz sidefooted home an inch-perfect cross from Tony Daley.
Then in the 39th minute the same combination opened up the home defence again.
The fast-moving Daley left sub Darren Simpkin in his wake to pull back the ball for Breitkreutz to slot home goal No.2.
"They were two great goals," said manager Atkinson afterwards. "Bully's weren't bad either!"
But he said he was disappointed with the Villa performance, adding: "We did not play enough football for my liking!"
Wolves: Stowell, Ashley, Thompson, Venus, Westley, Steele, Birch, Cook, Bull, Mutch, Dennison.
Villa: Spink, Barrett, Staunton, Teale, Ehiogu, Richardson, Daley, Parker, Breitkreutz, McAvennie, Froggatt.
Paper: Birmingham Post
Trialist Frank McAvennie could be given a second month to prove himself at Aston Villa although he is unlikely to get an immediate first-team chance.
Manager Ron Atkinson has almost certainly ruled him out of Saturday's side at Ipswich but he is reserving judgement.
"He needs a lot of work as he has basically come in and played three games and done no training," said Atkinson.
"We have got to give him two weeks hard training and see what he can still produce."
Atkinson was against reticent on speculation that he may be interested in John Aldridge, the Tranmere striker, as well as a host of other forwards.
"There are a number of players I'm looking at but I'm not talking about individuals until such time as something happens," he said.
Meanwhile, Villa hope Dwight Yorke, last season's leading scorer, will be back from the Caribbean in time to make his first appearance of the season at home to Leeds.
The young forward turns out for Trinidad and Tobago in a World Cup qualifying match in Jamaica on Sunday but a late flight the same night could see him back in time to recover from jet lag.
Villa have as clean bill of health but for Mark Burke who has been absent throughout the friendly programme with injury.
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