Monday media watch [04.08.14 AM]: Benteke in spotlight
Birmingham Mail: Christian Benteke's incredible optimism has prevented him from having the summer from hell. That's according to his neighbour and team-mate Leandro Bacuna who sees the big man's beaming smile on a daily basis. Bacuna can't believe how positive the Belgian striker has been despite missing the World Cup and the back end of last season through injury.
Birmingham Mail: Paul Lambert says Ron Vlaar's main focus is on Villa's opening Premier League fixture against Stoke City. The club captain met with his team-mates for the first time this summer on Saturday in his homeland. Villa were hammered 4-1 by Groningen in a friendly and Vlaar watched from the side.
Birmingham Mail: Villa were spanked 4-1 in the scorching sun and outclassed by a Groningen team way better than the claret and blues in every department.
The Sun: Leandro Bacuna insists Christian Benteke will be back at Aston Villa sooner rather than later. Belgium striker Benteke snapped his Achilles last season and missed out on the World Cup.
Mirror: Paul Lambert is confident Aston Villa can keep Ron Vlaar and hopes to tempt his to stay on a new deal. The Holland centre-back remains a wanted man after his outstanding World Cup.
Times: Antonio Luna, the Aston Villa left back, is expected to have a medical with Hellas Verona today while Lazio believe that Ron Vlaar could cost as little as £5.5million. Lazio want to pair Vlaar, the Villa centre back, with Stefan de Vrij, his Holland team-mate.
Sutton Coldfield Observer: Injured Aston Villa strikers Christian Benteke and Libor Kozak are both ahead of their recovery schedule, manager Paul Lambert has confirmed. The duo both suffered serious injuries last season, leaving Villa woefully short of forward options. They will both miss the start of the season, but Lambert says he is encouraged by the progress being made.
*The extracts on this page are taken from various newspapers and media outlets. They do not necessarily reflect the views of Aston Villa.