Thursday media watch [30.08.12 AM]: Lambert steps up striker hunt
Birmingham Mail: Stephen Ireland has set his sights on winning a new contract at Villa after admitting he is finally playing football with a smile on his face. Ireland is tied to the claret and blues until the summer of 2014 having signed a four-year deal when he arrived from Manchester City in August 2010.
The Sun: Aston Villa have signed Joe Bennett from Middlesbrough for £2.5million - pushing Stephen Warnock nearer the exit door. Full-back Bennett, 22, fits boss Paul Lambert's desire for young and hungry players.
Daily Star: Stephen Ireland wants a new Aston Villa contract - so he can set up goals for Darren Bent. The Irishman starred on his return to the side in Tuesday's Capital One Cup 3-0 win over Tranmere.
Mirror: Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert has made a late move to sign Lazio forward Mauro Zarate. He is looking to take the 25-year-old Argentinian on loan with a view to a permanent move.
Mirror: Stephen Ireland insists he is ready to get Darren Bent firing again after returning his favoured creative position. The Aston Villa midfielder was recalled for the 3-0 League Cup win over Tranmere when he was man of the match as Bent netted.
Daily Express: Aston Villa have signed Middlesbrough left-back Joe Bennett on a £2.5m, four-year deal and hope to tie up a move for Genk's Christian Benteke.
Daily Mail: Stephen Ireland returned to Aston Villa's line-up with a man-of-the-match display in Tuesday's Capita One Cup win over Tranmere, and now wants a new deal. The midfielder set up two goals in the 3-0 victory and said: "Paul Lambert is a good guy. He's been fair with me."
Daily Telegraph: Paul Lambert has stepped up his efforts to land Genk striker Christian Benteke by making a third and final £5.5million offer for the Belgian international.
*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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