Thursday media watch [04.07.13 AM]: Midfielder Kiyotake linked
Birmingham Mail: Villa have targeted Japanese international Hiroshi Kiyotake as Paul Lambert looks to add an attacking midfielder to his growing roster of overseas starlets. There has been contact between the claret and blues and Kiyotake's club Nuremberg but, despite reports of a bid, Villa are yet to make an offer for the 23-year-old. Lambert still keeps a close eye on Bundesliga football through his German contacts and has received glowing recommendations about Kiyotake, who is rated at around £7m.
Daily Star: Aston Villa are interested in Nuremberg's Hiroshi Kiyotake. The Japan international played in the Confederations Cup and has impressed in the Bundesliga, where he made 31 appearances. Kiyotake, capped 18 times, is under contract until 2015. Nuremberg are reluctant to lose the midfielder and would want £7.5m.
The Sun: Paul Lambert has been told he's wasting his time trying to sign £10m-rated Nuremberg star Hiroshi Kiyotake. Aston Villa boss Lambert was willing to offer £7.5m for the 23-year-old Japan international - who first caught his eye at the Olympics. But Nuremberg general manager Martin Bader issued a hands-off warning.
Daily Mail: Nuremberg general manager Martin Bader has confirmed that the German club have rebuffed a transfer inquiry from Villa for Japanese midfielder Hiroshi Kiyotake. Villa were keen to add the 23-year-old but Nuremberg want £7.5m. Kiyotake is under contract until June 2015 and had established himself as a key player.
Daily Mirror: Aston Villa have had an enquiry for £7.5m-rated Nuremberg star Hiroshi Kiyotake rejected. Daily Express: Aston Villa have their eyes on Nuremberg's Japanese striker Hiroshi Kiyotake and have already made enquiries.
The Times: Aston Villa's inquiry for Hiroshi Kiyotake, the Japan midfielder, has been rejected by Nuremberg.
Birmingham Mail: Paul Lambert has told Villa's new contract kids to prove they are the real deal by continuing to make Premier improvements. Andi Weimann and Nathan Baker are the first-teamers who have agreed new terms this summer until 2016 as a reward for their emergence. But Lambert has warned them the new contracts are a signal to keep working hard to play a part in his claret and blue revolution.
Sky Sports: Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert is confident that Aleksandar Tonev and Antonio Luna will quickly acclimatise to their new surroundings. Lambert wants his new signings to learn English, but not before they steep themselves in the football philosophies of his young squad.
Daily Mirror: Hardline Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert has banned Darren Bent from training with the first-team squad. Lambert is determined to shift big-earners like Bent, Stephen Ireland, Shay Given and Alan Hutton.
Daily Mail: Shay Given has joined Darren Bent on the sidelines at Aston Villa. The former Man City and Newcastle keeper has returned to training with Paul Lambert's side but appears no longer to form part of the club's plans.
Best of the Rest
BBC Sport: New Everton manager Roberto Martinez says Toffees "icon" Leighton Baines is a vital part of the club's future. The Merseyside club rejected a £12m bid from Manchester United for England left-back Baines, 28, last week.
Sky Sports: Sky sources understand Manchester City are eyeing a move for Sevilla striker Alvaro Negredo. City boss Manuel Pellegrini is in the market for a new striker after selling Carlos Tevez to Juventus last month.
BBC Sport: Swansea City have signed midfielder Jonjo Shelvey from Liverpool for an initial fee of £5m. The 21-year-old, who made his England debut against San Marino in October 2012, has signed a four-year deal.
*The extracts on this page are taken from various newspapers and media outlets. They do not necessarily reflect the views of Aston Villa.