Wednesday media watch [23.07.14 AM]: Latest from USA tour
Birmingham Mail: Gary Gardner has vowed, "I'll be back", as he bids to make up for lost time and finally nail down a regular first-team spot. Gardner is training hard with Villa in the United States and views the pre-season tour in Texas as an invaluable opportunity to stake his claim. The 22-year-old academy graduate has been given a fresh chance after signing a new two-year contract.
Birmingham Mail: Chairman Randy Lerner is expected to put in a rare appearance to watch Aston Villa in action in the United States tonight. Lerner has been conspicuous by his absence at matches in recent years after losing interest in Villa and putting the club up for sale at the end of last season. But the American billionaire is believed to be planning to jet in from New York to attend this evening's friendly against FC Dallas at Toyota Park.
Birmingham Mail: Bouncing Czech Libor Kozak gave Aston Villa fans reasons to be cheerful as he stepped up his recovery in an open training session in Dallas. Kozak, and fellow centre forward casualty Christian Benteke, have traveled on Villa's tour of Texas as they strive to get back to fitness. The sight of both strikers on the field at FC Dallas' Toyota Park on Wednesday evening was a boost to 100 or so fans who attended the session.
Birmingham Mail: Fabian Delph has told Villa fans he is keen to get his claret and blue future resolved by signing a new contract at the club. Delph is entering the final year of his current deal and the 24-year-old supporters' player-of-the-season for 2013-14 wants to stay at Villa Park.
Birmingham Mail: Paul Lambert has warned the vultures circling Ron Vlaar that the Aston Villa captain is not for sale. Southampton are the latest club to be linked with Vlaar, who has just one year left on his current Villa contract.
The Sun: Paul Lambert last night delivered a blunt hands-off warning to clubs coveting his Dutch World Cup sensation Ron Vlaar. The Aston Villa boss lashed out amid growing speculation Southampton were set to swoop for centre-back Vlaar to replace Dejan Lovern, who is on the verge of sealing a move to Liverpool.
Mirror: Paul Lambert has promised Joe Cole the opportunity to be Aston Villa's playmaker - and a last chance to save his career. The ex-England midfielder joined Villa on a free this summer after leaving West Ham and is in line to start their opening pre-season tour match tonight in Texas against MLS outfit FC Dallas.
*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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