Friday media watch [29.05.14 PM]: Stopper Given in focus
Sky Sports: Shay Given admits he would be willing to leave his coaching duties at Aston Villa if offered a playing role elsewhere. The veteran goalkeeper has been offered the opportunity to combine his role as back-up to Brad Guzan with a training ground post at Villa Park. Given is, however, not prepared to hang up his gloves just yet and focus purely on events away from the field. He acknowledges that he is unlikely to find the opportunities he craves at Villa, having fallen out of favour and taken in a loan spell at Middlesbrough in 2013-14, and has opened the door to any club willing to 'take a punt' on his services.
Express & Star: Shay Given has admitted he still wants to leave Aston Villa after two years without playing. The goalkeeper stepped up to assist manager Paul Lambert after the suspensions of Ian Culverhouse and Gary Karsa in April. But, despite his new coaching role at the club, Given feels he must quit Villa Park. "If I am going to play, I have to move away from Villa Park," said the 38-year-old.
Clubcall: Aston Villa are being linked with a move for Almeria star Aleix Vidal but there are a host of other clubs interested in the playmaker. Villa boss Paul Lambert's future continues to remain uncertain at Villa Park as owner Randy Lerner looks for a new buyer. However, the Scot is determined to carry on as normal and he is already looking for potential new transfer targets to bolster his squad. And the 24-year-old, Vidal, who netted six times in the 38 games last year, is said to be one man on his shopping list.
Clubcall: Kazakhstan businessman Tevfik Arif is reportedly leading the way to buy Aston Villa from Randy Lerner this summer. Arif, who is a close friend of US billionaire Donald Trump, was the founder of New York-based property firm Bayrock Group and would have the resources to meet US owner Lerner's £200m asking price for Villa. He worked in hotel management for 17 years at the Soviet Ministry of Commerce and Trade, before moving to the USA where he partnered Trump on several projects and helped build the SoHo hotel and residential tower in New York.
Express & Star: A controversial Kazakh-born businessman today emerged as the front runner to buy Villa. Tevfik Arif, founder of New York-based property firm Bayrock Group and a pal of US billionaire Donald Trump, is reported to be in the hunt to buy the club from Randy Lerner. The Villa chairman wants £200m for the club and Arif would be the first Kazakhstani Premier League owner if he was successful.
Best of the Rest
BBC Sport: Arsene Wenger has signed a three-year deal to remain Arsenal manager. Wenger has led Arsenal to eight major trophies since arriving in September 1996 and will now stay until 2017.
Sky Sports: Former West Ham striker Teddy Sheringham has returned to Upton Park as an attacking coach. Sheringham spent three years at West Ham between 2004 and 2007, scoring 30 goals in just 49 appearances.
BBC Sport: Rickie Lambert will be an ideal signing for Liverpool, according to former Anfield goalscorer Robbie Fowler. Southampton and England striker Lambert is to have a medical at Liverpool on Saturday after the clubs agreed a fee of about £4m plus add-ons.
*The extracts on this page are taken from various newspapers and media outlets. They do not necessarily reflect the views of Aston Villa.
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