Express & Star: Neil Taylor has dismissed criticism of Villa’s summer spending and declared: “Without it, we would have been playing five-a-side games!” Villa splashed out £127million on 12 new players after winning promotion to the Premier League in May. Chief executive Christian Purslow this week defended the outlay, describing it as “no trolley dash” and pointing out a rebuild was inevitable, after Villa released nine players at the end of last season. Left-back Taylor, one of only 10 senior outfield players who remained, feels the latter point is one which needs highlighting. He said: “There’s almost no point talking about the rebuild really. If we hadn’t done that, we’d have had to play five-a-side games.”
TalkSPORT: John McGinn has dismissed suggestions he was considering a move away from Aston Villa this summer. The Scotland international moved to Villa Park in August 2018 from Hibernian despite interest from boyhood club Celtic. However, it looks like it was a wise move as McGinn played a huge role in helping the Villans getting promoted to the Premier League and even scored in their victory over Derby County in the Championship play-off final. McGinn told talkSPORT that a new contract was actually in the pipeline since the start of the summer. Speaking to Jim White and Natalie Sawyer, McGinn said: “Obviously you see bits and bobs but my intentions were pretty clear and the club were aware of that. I didn’t want to leave this summer. “I feel loved here, I feel respected by everyone – the players, the coaches and I was keen to prove that I could play in the Premier League with Villa.”
Express & Star: Aston Villa will take on Crewe in the Carabao Cup second round. Dean Smith's side will travel to Gresty Road in their first game of the competition this season as heavy favourites against the League Two side. The game will take place on the week commencing August 26. Crewe stunned Championship side Middlesbrough in the first round of the competition, beating Jonathan Woodgate's side on penalties having led 2-0 at half-time.
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Sky Sports: Phil Neville says England Women have learned from their World Cup exit and are already targeting success at the 2021 European Championships. After leading the Lionesses to glory in the SheBelieves Cup earlier this year in what was his first tournament in charge, Neville's side went into this summer's World Cup in France as genuine contenders but finished fourth. Neville claims his team have put that disappointment behind them - and at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, where he will coach the Great Britain Women's side - he insists he will implement "changes and new things" that can help bring both teams success.
BBC Sport: When Stephanie Frappart takes charge of the Uefa Super Cup between Chelsea and Liverpool on Wednesday, it will not be the biggest game she has refereed this summer. The French official will make history by becoming the first female to officiate in a major men's European match on Wednesday. But having also taken charge of the Women's World Cup final in July and Ligue 1 matches in France since April, she says she will not be feeling any extra pressure.
Sky Sports: Divock Origi says his instinct told him to stay at Liverpool when he was deciding his future at the end of last season. The Belgium international forward signed a long-term contract in July to extend his stay at Anfield after scoring a series of vital goals for Liverpool towards the end of the campaign.
*The extracts on this page are taken from various newspapers and media outlets. They do not necessarily reflect the views of Aston Villa.