Monday media watch [11.08.14 AM]: Midfield duo linked
Daily Telegraph: Aston Villa are in talks over a bid to sign Colombia international midfielder Carlos Sánchez. Defensive midfielder Sánchez is currently at Spanish club Elche, but Villa are interested in bringing the 28-year-old to England. Villa had been hopeful of signing Ki Sung-yueng from Swansea, but progress on that deal stalled and it appears they may now have turned to Sánchez. Sánchez has made 44 appearances for Colombia and played in all of his country's World Cup matches in Brazil. Queens Park Rangers have also looked at Sánchez, who is valued at around £4 million, this summer. Nicknamed 'The Rock' in Colombia, Sánchez has been the unsung hero of the national team and has been compared to Claude Makélélé.
Birmingham Mail: Villa are still keen on Swansea midfielder Ki Sung-Yueng but Victor Moses is not likely to be pursued. The claret and blues are after two more signings and they have identified a holding midfielder to bolster their ranks for the forthcoming season. Ki is the man Lambert wants but it is thought Villa will not pay the estimated £4m the Welsh club are asking. After Saturday's final pre-season clash of the summer ended in a 0-0 stalemate with Parma, Lambert said: "I'm trying to do things before the end of August."
Daily Mail: Aston Villa midfielder Joe Cole has returned to training and could be fit for the club's first home game of the season on Saturday August 23. Cole, 32, has missed the majority of pre-season with a thigh injury picked up in a friendly against Mansfield but manager Paul Lambert has given assurances the former England international will not be out for long. "It is a pure minor thigh strain. He felt it over time so we just left it," said Lambert, whose side played out a goalless draw against Parma without the absent Cole on Saturday.
Daily Record: Celtic are set to land £2m-rated Aleksandar Tonev after the Bulgarian jetted into Glasgow last night for talks. Parkhead chiefs spent the weekend thrashing out a deal for the Aston Villa ace. His capture looks likely to be rubber-stamped this morning after the clubs agreed a loan deal with an option to buy at the end of the season. Ironically, Celtic were on the verge of sealing Tonev's signature a year ago in a £2m move. However, the English Premier League side swept in at the 11th hour to take him from Lech Poznan to the Midlands. The 24-year-old has been unable to nail down a regular place in the Villa side and doesn't feature in Paul Lambert's plans for the new campaign. Tonev, who started his career at Bulgarian club CSKA Sofia and has 15 caps to his name, is now poised for Glasgow at the second time of asking.
Glasgow Evening Times: Aleksandar Tonev will become Ronny Deila's third signing when he arrives at Celtic on loan from Aston Villa on Monday. The Bulgarian winger will join Craig Gordon and Jo Inge Berget as the Norwegian manager's first recruits, with the club having the option to buy after the year-long loan. And the Hoops are hoping to add at least one more player before Monday night's 11pm registration deadline for the Champions League play-off round. Tonev was the subject of a £2million bid by the Hoops last summer. But, after Celtic agreed a deal with his then club, Lech Poznan, in Poland, Aston Villa topped their offer by £500,000 and the 24-year-old chose to accept the chance to move to the Premier League.
Daily Mail: Aston Villa midfielder Aleksandar Tonev will have a medical on Monday ahead of joining Celtic on a season-long loan. The 24-year-old Bulgarian was a target for Celtic before joining Villa for £2.5million last summer. He flew to Glasgow on Sunday night and talks will continue on Monday.
Daily Mirror: Aston Villa are sending Bulgarian midfielder Aleksandar Tonev to Celtic on loan - and straight into Champions League qualifiers with the Hoops. Boss Paul Lambert agreed to help out his old club and Tonev, signed from Lech Posnan a year ago, had signed a season-long deal.
Teamtalk: Marc Albrighton has welcomed a change of scenery and is hoping that new club Leicester City can emulate Swansea following his summer switch from Aston Villa. The 24-year-old progressed through Villa's youth system before making his debut in 2009, but struggled to hold a regular place during his final two years at the club and was subsequently allowed to leave as a free agent this summer. Albrighton, who made 19 Premier League appearances last season, has since linked up with Nigel Pearson's newly-promoted Foxes as they prepare for life back in the top flight after a 10-year absence. The winger had a brief loan spell at Championship side Wigan in the first half of last season, but has otherwise spent the entirety of his career with Villa, and says he is now relishing a fresh start.
Birmingham Mail: Paul Lambert is yet to hold formal talks with Ron Vlaar over his future but the Villa boss is not fazed about the situation. Vlaar returned to action on Saturday in the 0-0 draw with Parma as a second half substitute. He cruised through the game and continued where he left off for Holland in the World Cup. Lambert admitted that in-depth negotiations over his future are yet to take place but he's sure they will in time.
Best of the Rest
BBC Sport: Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini says he remains optimistic about his team's chances of retaining the Premier League title despite their comprehensive Community Shield defeat. City, who start their defence at Newcastle on Sunday, were beaten 3-0 by Arsenal at Wembley on Sunday.
Sky Sports: Celtic have said they are "disappointed" by Legia Warsaw's attempts to be re-instated in the Champions League. The Polish club beat Celtic 6-1 on aggregate in their second round qualifier but were then thrown out of the competition by UEFA for fielding an ineligible player - Bartosz Bereszynski - who came on as a substitute for the final three minutes.
BBC Sport: Barcelona have completed the £15m signing of Arsenal's Belgium international defender Thomas Vermaelen on a five-year contract. The 28-year-old passed a medical on Saturday and was presented to fans and media at the Nou Camp on Sunday after finalising the deal.
*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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