Premier League - Paper Round: Villa line up Benitez
Sat, 26 Mar 06:59:00 2011
The Sun claims that the Spaniard, who won the 2004/05 Champions League with Liverpool and reached the final two seasons later, is being lined up by Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner despite his troubled track record with American paymasters while at Anfield.
He took over European champions Internazionale from Jose Mourinho in the summer but lasted only a few months before being replaced by Leonardo and is currently out of work.
Villa boss Gerard Houllier is under pressure from fans and reports on Friday claimed several of the club's top stars are ready to walk out in protest at 'draconian' disciplinary measures introduced by the Frenchman.
According to The Sun, the £15 million pricetag placed on Cahill's head is putting Kenny Dalglish off.
Mexes is available on a free in the summer and is reportedly being watched by Arsenal.
One player who could be on his way out of Anfield is Brazilian midfielder Lucas Leiva.
Liga club Villarreal have watched his improved performances this season with interest, says The Mirror, and Liverpool could do business for £7-8m.
Lucas could be tempted by the prospect of Champions League football. Another Premier League midfielder on Villarreal's radar is Blackpool's David Vaughan, with The Mirror writing that he will be watched by the Yellow Submarine in Cardiff today - he is turning out for Wales against England in the day's big Euro 2012 qualifier.
Vaughan is out of contract in the summer.
Eden Hazard's Premier League dream is a step closer to reality as TalkSport reports that Lille are considering cashing in on the Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United target - but only if they receive a "super offer" in the summer.
One player who won't be joining United or Spurs is Lassana Diarra, who has declared himself happy with life at Real Madrid under Jose Mourinho.
Lille and Ivory Coast striker Gervinho has said he is pleased that Newcastle are watching him - however he acknowledges that he is under contract until 2012.
The Mirror runs his quotes: "Newcastle are a good team. I have been linked to various teams now but I am still under contract at Lille until 2012, so I am not worrying.
"We are top of the league and I want to win that. At the end of the season we can sit down and see what the next step will be. I want to concentrate on my football.
"The Spanish and English leagues are two of the best in the world and it would be a privilege to play there, but I belong to Lille until 2012."
West Ham will fight Werder Bremen and Lazio to sign Swedish midfielder Rasmus Elm from Eredivisie side AZ Alkmaar (TalkSport).
West Brom are negotiating a deal to bring in Japanese World Cup goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima from Belgian club Lierse (Daily Mail).
And in other news, Portuguese winger Nani says he does not always enjoy playing for Manchester United due to the lack of freedom allowed by boss Sir Alex Ferguson (The Guardian) while United midfielder Owen Hargreaves has suffered yet another setback in his return from injury - a shoulder problem picked up in training is the latest blow to the one-time England star (Mail).
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