Monday media watch [24.06.13 AM]: Okore on manager pep-talk
Birmingham Mail: Jores Okore has revealed how a positive telephone pep-talk from Paul Lambert has cranked up his excitement about reporting for pre-season training next week. Okore will get to meet his fellow new boys and the rest of his team-mates when most of the first-team squad return to Bodymoor Heath a week today.
Birmingham Mail: Two weeks ago, Michael Cappuccitti didn't know which football team to follow. Now, not only is he a devoted Villa fan, but the 40-year-old Canadian has bought two season tickets and will regularly donate them to underprivileged kids in Birmingham.
Swindon Advertiser: Swindon Town will run the rule over Aston Villa defender Daniel Devine during pre-season with a view to bringing him to Wiltshire on a permanent deal. The Advertiser has learnt that Devine impressed during a trial match for a Town development side against Bristol Rovers towards the end of last season and Robins manager Kevin MacDonald has used his strong connections with Villa to ensure he trains with Swindon in the coming weeks.
Sky Sports: Montpellier midfielder Younes Belhanda is attracting interest from across Europe, but he still favours a move to England. Serie A heavyweights AC Milan and Inter Milan, along with Turkish outfit Galatasaray, are believed to have expressed an interest in the Moroccan playmaker. There is, however, believed to be reluctance on their part to meet Montpellier's asking price. That has helped to keep the transfer door ajar, with Aston Villa said to be keen on bringing Belhanda to the Premier League.
Goal.com: Al Nasr have signed Brett Holman after Aston Villa terminated the midfielder's contract by mutual consent. The Australia international, who joined the Midlands club on a free transfer of 2012, made 27 Premier League appearances last season but only managed 16 starts.
Best Of The Rest
The Sun: Gonzalo Higuain's Arsenal move is "at an advanced stage" — according to the Real Madrid striker's dad.
Daily Mail: Norwich manager Chris Hughton is trying to beat Everton to sign Wigan striker Arouna Kone. The Ivory Coast star's contract has a £5m buy-out clause.
BBC Sport: Championship club Brighton sacked manager Gus Poyet while he was working as a pundit for BBC Sport.
*The extracts on this page are taken from various newspapers and media outlets. They do not necessarily reflect the views of Aston Villa.