Thursday media watch [26.09.13 AM]: Strikers in the spotlight
Express and Star: Newcastle United and Aston Villa have been linked with a move for SC Heerenveen striker Alfred Finnbogason. The forward has netted nine times in six appearences this season and was linked with Villa in the summer transfer window.
Birmingham Mail: Captain Ron Vlaar reckons his World Cup ambitions will give him extra Dutch courage in his quest for consistency with Aston Villa. Vlaar helped Holland qualify for next summer's finals in Brazil during the recent international break and he is determined to remain part of Louis van Gaal's national squad. The 28-year-old centre-half, who has had three Villa defensive partners in Nathan Baker, Ciaran Clark and Jores Okore already this season, has experienced mixed fortunes at club level in the past week.
Birmingham Mail: Gabby Agbonlahor is set to boost Villa's firepower against Manchester City after Paul Lambert and the dressing room threw down the gauntlet to the other strikers during Christian Benteke's lay-off. Agbonlahor is winning his fitness race to return to action against Manuel Pellegrini's title contenders at Villa Park on Saturday after sitting out the Capital One Cup defeat to Tottenham with an ankle injury. The Brummie striker has yet to score so far this season, but ended last term with six goals in his final nine matches. He has assisted four of Villa's six Premier League goals in the current campaign.
The Sun: Leandro Bacuna insists Aston Villa are not a one-man team - and will prove it while Christian Benteke is out for up to six weeks. Villa hitman Benteke - whose 19-goal tally last season was key to their Premier League survival - hobbled off with a hip injury in Saturday's 1-0 victory at Norwich.
Best Of The Rest
Setanta Sports: Chelsea midfielder Marco van Ginkel is likely to miss the remainder of the season as a result of the injury he sustained in the Capital One Cup win over Swindon. Van Ginkel was making only his second start for the Blues following his summer move from Vitesse Arnhem when he went down following a challenge from Alex Pritchard. Despite trying to carry on, the 20-year-old was forced off in the tenth minute, raising fears that he had suffered a serious injury.
Metro: Manchester City are set to go for Valencia defender Adil Rami in January after he was put for sale by manager Miroslav Djukic. Rami is widely considered to be one of the best centre backs in European football, having established himself with the La Liga side after joining from Lille. But a switch away is now all but certain after the 27-year-old fell out with Valencia boss Djukic this week, branding him 'two faced' in the media.
Sky Sports: Gary Hooper is convinced he can get goals at Norwich City and catch the eye of England manager Roy Hodgson. The 25-year-old frontman finally arrived in the Premier League over the summer following many windows of intense transfer speculation. Norwich were the ones to lure Hooper away from Celtic, with big money paid for a proven marksman.
*The extracts on this page are taken from various newspapers and media outlets. They do not necessarily reflect the views of Aston Villa.