Saturday media watch [30.03.13]: Lambert on Benteke/Weimann
Sporting Life: Paul Lambert insists in-form Aston Villa strike duo Christian Benteke and Andreas Weimann will remain with the club next season. Lambert knows keeping hold of the pair and other key players is vital as part of his long-term project to rebuild Villa - and he has the backing of club owner Randy Lerner.
Daily Express: Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner has pledged not to sell £30million-rated pair Christian Benteke and Andreas Weimann. Gareth Barry, James Milner, Ashley Young and Stewart Downing have all left Villa Park in the last four years, sales which left Villa fighting relegation from the Premier League for three successive seasons. Before manager Paul Lambert took the job in the summer, Lerner convinced him no more big names would be sold.
Daily Star: Aston Villa believe they will fight off the big boys and hold on to rising stars Christian Benteke and Andreas Weimann. Villa boss Paul Lambert is confident he will keep his coveted young strikers out of the clutches of the Premier League's big-hitters. And he has the backing of mega-rich American owner Randy Lerner to hang on to his £30m young guns even if it means offering the pair of them new deals in the summer.
Daily Mirror: Paul Lambert says Aston Villa must stop selling stars and fears going back to "square one" if Christian Benteke and Andreas Weimann are allowed to leave. Villa's battle against relegation continues on Sunday when they host Liverpool, whose ranks are set to include Stewart Downing - who moved to the Reds from the Midlands club in a £20million deal in 2011. This season's attacking heroes at Villa have been Benteke and Weimann, who have scored 17 and 11 goals respectively despite the side's struggles. As he plots a Premier League future for the club after successive wins over drop-zone rivals Reading and QPR before the international break, Lambert sees the duo as essential to the team's prospects - and he expects them to stay after pledging to improve them further.
Daily Telegraph: Paul Lambert is convinced that Aston Villa chairman Randy Lerner will resist any bids for prized assets Christian Benteke and Andreas Weimann this summer. Lambert has warned that selling the two youngsters would wreck his rebuilding plans and is determined to reward their progress by persuading them to sign long-term contracts.
Daily Mail: Paul Lambert has been promised he won't have to sell star strike duo Christian Benteke and Andi Weimann if he can keep Aston Villa in the Barclays Premier League. American owner Randy Lerner has told his manager there will be funds for new contracts for both the centre forwards whose goals have revived the club's hopes of survival.
Express & Star: Paul Lambert insists in-form Aston Villa strike duo Christian Benteke and Andreas Weimann will remain with the club next season. Lambert knows keeping hold of the pair and other key players is vital as part of his long-term project to rebuild Villa - and he has the backing of club owner Randy Lerner.
Liverpool Post: At the time it felt anything but. But Brendan Rodgers is convinced Liverpool's last meeting with Aston Villa was the moment his Anfield evolution began to click into gear. Back in December, the Midlanders made the trip to Merseyside having scored just 12 goals in 16 games and won only three Premier League games all season. That they returned home celebrating a 3-1 victory prompted criticism for Rodgers and his methods with Liverpool left languishing in the lower reaches of the table. Matters, though, improved in the aftermath with the Anfield outfit still harbouring hopes of European qualification as the run-in begins in earnest with the return clash at Villa Park tomorrow.
*The extracts on this page are taken from various newspapers and media outlets. They do not necessarily reflect the views of Aston Villa.