Paul Lambert will try and sign Joleon Lescott on a free transfer from Manchester City and leave it to Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner to decide if he can afford his wages.
Lerner wants to sell Villa as soon as possible and is loathe to add to the £100million the club has cost him over the last eight years.Lescott is high on Lambert’s wish-list and, as Lescott is a Villa fan and locally born, is optimstic of getting him.
But Lescott’s likely £50,00 a week wages are well above Villa’s current salary ceiling and it will be a big test for Lerner.
Lewis Holtby, priced at £10m by Spurs and asking for a similar pay packet, is another wanted by Lambert but is likely to be too expensive.Talking for the first time since he flew with chief executive Paul Faulkner to meet with Lerner at his New York home, Lambert said he would not be quitting Villa even though his job has been made tougher and he could be sacked by a new ownership.
“It’s up to me to go and get players I think this club deserves. Everything is open because of the ‘for sale’ aspect of it.
“This club’s name alone will be half your selling point. Aston Villa will still attract big players. It has everything, it just needs that stability of what direction it’s going to go in.”