Monday media watch [16.06.14 PM]: Cole backed to impress
Express & Star: Thomas Hitzlsperger today backed Paul Lambert's Villa transfer policy and insisted it will pay off. The former claret and blues midfielder reckons the signing of Joe Cole will prove to be a masterstroke. Lambert has turned his attention to adding more experience after previously targeting younger players and has signed Philippe Senderos and Cole. He said: "I had great admiration for Paul Lambert with his philosophy of bringing in young players. Now is the next stage - bringing in a little more experience for the good of the group. "Saying all that, there's no point having an older guy in there with bags of experience if he's not delivering for the team. Joe knows that he needs to get back to his best too. He will be aware of that, I'm sure."
Clubcall: Aston Villa are one of three Premier League clubs showing interest in Marseille's former West Brom loanee Morgan Amalfitano. The 29-year-old winger is available for £2.5million but is unlikely to return to The Hawthorns after an inconsistent campaign in Albion colours last season. Amalfitano sparkled in the early months of the season, capping a fine performance at Old Trafford with the memorable winning goal, but faded at the back end of the campaign as the Baggies fought relegation. Marseille are keen to sell and Amalfitano is unlikely to be short of options with Crystal Palace boss Tony Pulis looking to take the Frenchman to London. Villa are believed to be interested but a permanent transfer looks unlikely while they remain unsold by owner Randy Lerner.
ITV Sport: Villa powerhouse Christian Benteke had hoped to be a breakout star at this summer's World Cup before injury ruled him out of Belgium's campaign. But he's remaining chipper a day before his team-mates begin their tournament against South Korea, offering gifts to his fans after surpassing 100,000 followers on Twitter.
Best of the Rest
BBC Sport: Southampton have appointed Ronald Koeman as their new manager. The former Netherlands international has agreed a three-year deal to replace Mauricio Pochettino who took over at Tottenham last month.
Sky Sports: Tim Sherwood says he turned down the opportunity to inherit the managerial reins at West Bromwich Albion as there were 'a couple of ingredients missing'. The former Tottenham boss claims to have been the No.1 candidate for a post that has since been handed to former Sheffield Wednesday manager Alan Irvine.
BBC Sport: Argentina star Lionel Messi admitted to nerves in his side's victory over Bosnia-Hercegovina during their first game of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The 26-year-old struggled to make an impact before a sublime effort put his side two up as they went on to win 2-1.
*The extracts on this page are taken from various newspapers and media outlets. They do not necessarily reflect the views of Aston Villa.