The Cutter understands that Aston Villa fans can finally look forward to some summer spending in the months ahead though the budget will remain limited despite the recent TV deal windfall. With the club effectively up for sale and owner Randy Lerner persisting with a parsimonious approach new manager Tim Sherwood will be forced to cut his cloth accordingly even if Premier League safety is secured.
Perhaps unsurprisingly then he is primed to plunder his former club Tottenham for two familiar bargains both of whom are being lined up to replace like-for-like departing out-of-contract players.
With captain Ron Vlaar set to finally get his wish to leave Villa Park a commanding and experienced centre-back is a priority and we hear top of Sherwood’s short-list is Spurs’ out-of-favour Younes Kaboul. The Frenchman was one of Sherwood’s few trusted allies during a fractious short spell in charge at the Lane and if serous interest from Italy doesn’t materialise it’s believed the Villans will be in pole position.
The second swoop denotes a volte-face from Sherwood as it’s for a player he evidently didn’t rate highly during their time together in the capital and willingly loaned out to Fulham. Midfield schemer Lewis Holtby played the grand total of 63 minutes football under the man who rocks a gilet and consequently struggled to make much of an impact at Craven Cottage before moving to Hamburg. A permanent deal worth over 6m euros was initially rumoured to have been agreed but it has since been confirmed the switch is only a temporary one. This means the German remains a Tottenham player and with Hamburg enduring a miserable season – prompting this extraordinary outburst from the player last week – Holtby will surely snatch at the opportunity to return to the English top flight. A bid in the region of £3m is expected which is cheap at half the price considering Sherwood’s predecessor Paul Lambert once targeted the same player for £6m.
Holtby is being lined up to replace England star Tom Cleverley with the claret and blues now resigned on missing out on retaining his services. Their £40,000 a week offer is, by all acounts, all-but dead in the water.