Tuesday media watch [17.06.14 PM]: Villa relaxed on No.2 search
Express & Star: Villa were today content to play the waiting game in their pursuit of Roy Keane. The claret and blues are relaxed about the situation to make Keane Paul Lambert's No.2. The squad return for pre-season training on July 7 and head to Texas for a two-game tour against FC Dallas and Houston Dynamo later next month. There is no immediate timeframe for the former Manchester United midfielder's potential arrival after he was approached to become Lambert's assistant. Keane pulled out of ITV's World Cup coverage this month as he looks to focus on his coaching career, a move which has been taken as a statement of intent over the Villa role. Ireland returned from America, where they lost 5-1 to Portugal and drew 1-1 with Costa Rica with boss Martin O'Neill keen to keep Keane as his right-hand man. It is believed Keane, who turned down the Celtic manager's job, would be able to continue with his country if he joined Villa but O'Neill does not want the situation dragging on.
Clubcall: Aston Villa will reportedly not rush Roy Keane into a decision on whether he wants to become assistant manager at Villa Park. The former Manchester United midfielder is said to be considering his options having been offered the chance to return to domestic football with the Villans. Keane has been told by Republic of Ireland boss Martin O'Neill he can combine his role as assistant to the Irish national team with any potential work he takes on with Villa. Despite the squad returning to pre-season training on July 7, Lambert hasn't put a time frame in place for when he wants to appoint a new assistant, be that Keane or someone else.
Clubcall: Hull City are poised to beat Aston Villa to the signing of Joleon Lescott after offering the English defender a two-year contract. The 31-year-old has been told he can leave the Etihad Stadium at the end of his current contract and had been linked with a move to Villa. The Villans had been the favourites to sign Lescott at the start of the week but Hull have now jumped to the top of the queue after reportedly making the ex-England international an attractive offer. The Tigers are reported to have tabled a two-year contract with the option of a third year, while the chance to play Europa League football is thought to have swayed Lescott.
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Sky Sports: New Chelsea signing Cesc Fabregas has insisted he told Barcelona to let him leave, and they even tried to stop him departing. Fabregas completed a move to Stamford Bridge last week, but he has stressed it was his decision to quit the Camp Nou. The Spanish ace also says that president Josep Maria Bartomeu tried to prevent him from moving.
BBC Sport: England striker Daniel Sturridge is prepared to do almost anything to avoid an early World Cup exit in Thursday's "do or die" meeting with Uruguay. Sturridge will be up against Liverpool team-mate Luis Suarez, who infamously handled on the line in the closing seconds as Uruguay beat Ghana on penalties in South Africa in 2010.
Sky Sports: Mario Balotelli's agent Mino Raiola has refused to rule out a move to Arsenal for his client. The former Manchester City striker has been linked with a return to England, with Arsenal reported to be keen.
*The extracts on this page are taken from various newspapers and media outlets. They do not necessarily reflect the views of Aston Villa.