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It’s not all bad news for Villa with big name signings set to arrive

| 19.06.2011

Those Aston Villa fans who shunned Steve McClaren may well be regretting their actions following the appointment of Alex McLeish.

McLeish may be the most hated man in Birmingham at the moment but he is set to be given a £40m transfer budget by Randy Lerner and the Aston Villa board in order to make a successful start to life at Villa Park.

The former Birmingham manager will be officially introduced as the new Aston Villa manager on Monday as the Scot looks to build bridges with the Villa fans who are in total disgust with the appointment of their new manager.

However it may get worst before it gets better for Villa fans with Birmingham’s Ben Foster and Roger Johnson potentially following their manager across the city.

Following Birmingham’s relegation there are a number of players in the Birmingham squad that are Premier League players and the sale of Brad Friedal means McLeish is in the market for a goalkeeper.

Foster is the obvious choice having been signed by McLeish at Birmingham, and with Richard Dunne coming to the end of his career, Johnson would be the ideal partner for James Collins.

It would probably take around £10m to prize the two players away from St Andrew’s leaving McLeish with £30m to spend on strengthening his attack.

With Ashley Young seemingly on his way out of Villa Park, McLeish needs plenty of attacking talent after a poor season for the Aston Villa strikers, and Lille’s Gervinho is high on the Villa shortlist.

The Lille attacker is in the Young mould and while Arsenal and Liverpool are reportedly interested in the 24-year-old who has scored 28 goals in 67 games for the French side, Villa would be able to guarantee the player game time.

The transfer budget would allow Villa to compete with Arsenal and Liverpool and i would suggest Villa Park is a more likely destination for the Ivory Coast international.

Charlie Adam also finds himself on McLeish’s shortlist and it looks like the Blackpool striker would cost around £9m.



Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.