Thursday media watch [02.01.14 PM]: Boss hopeful on Vlaar
Express and Star: Villa were today sweating on Ron Vlaar's fitness after the skipper suffered another injury blow. The defender limped off in yesterday's 1-0 win at Sunderland with a recurrence of the calf injury which had sidelined him for the previous five games.
ClubCall: Paul Lambert is hoping Ron Vlaar's latest injury setback is not severe as he wants him fit to face Arsenal at Villa Park on January 13. The influential Dutch defender was forced to limp off during the New Year's Day 1-0 win at Sunderland with what appeared to be a recurrence of the calf injury which had sidelined him for the previous five games.
Sky Sports: Aston Villa's players have insisted that misfiring striker Christian Benteke is still contributing to the cause and will soon find his scoring boots. The 22-year-old Belgium forward has struggled to reproduce his extraordinary goalscoring feats of last season, when he netted 14 goals in the last 19 games of the season.
Daily Mail: A cluster of Premier League clubs have been alerted to the availability of Jermaine Jones, with the likelihood of the player leaving Schalke this month going stronger. Aston Villa, West Brom, Sunderland, Norwich and Crystal Palace are all keeping tabs on the situation.
Best Of The Rest
BBC Sport: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been appointed Cardiff City's new manager.
Sky Sports: Manager Jose Mourinho has told Juan Mata and Michael Essien that his door is open if they want to leave Chelsea.
Sky Sports: Everton defender John Heitinga says he turned down a switch to West Ham as he feels it did not represent a good career move.
*The extracts on this page are taken from various newspapers and media outlets. They do not necessarily reflect the views of Aston Villa.