Thursday, July 10, 2008
Aston Villa Eyes Three American Players
Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill is looking to strengthen his squad on the defensive end which has him targetting a number of players, including three Americans.
The team needs a roster deep enough in quality to hold its own in League and European play this season. “I would hope for us to have a real proper squad, at least the size of, say, Everton. “We need players and we know what we have to do,’’ he said. “We’re continuing to work on other deals. We have many things going on at this moment" said O'Neill.
In looking for help on defense, he is targetting Shefffield Wednesday's American Frank Simek, along with West Ham's Anton Ferdinand, among others. Villa is also considering signing either US and Chivas USA's Brad Guzan, or Blackburn's US international Brad Friedel. The Guzan-Friedel consideration is believed to be an either/or choice since it may be difficult to make room for both.
O'Neill remarked that "we are hoping to resolve the goalkeeping situation pretty soon. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, we’ve got a small squad and we don’t really want to be going into this season facing up to games with what we had on the pitch being what we have."
All the while, Simek told the BBC yesterday that he does not know when he will be fit enough to play again since he he still recovering from a serious ankle injury. He missed the last half of last season after suffering serious ligament damage during a road game at Crystal Palace in December 2007.
At the same time, Wednesday chief Brian Laws has dismissed reports linking Simek with a move to Aston Villa. Laws told BBC Radio Sheffield that they have received no approach from Aston Villa. He remarked that "Aston Villa have never even made contact, there's no truth in the matter."
In other tranfer news, Heerenveen's Michael Bradley has told the Dutch press that he "wants to play in a big league and prefers to play in England." The 20-year-old American is still considering offers from AS Monaco, Bayer Leverkusen, Blackburn Rovers, and Middelsbrough.