Aston Villa latest: Including Helenius and Okore

All of the latest Aston Villa stories coming out of Villa Park.

Aston Villa striker Darren Bent is being linked with a move to Newcastle United. The striker does not figure in Paul Lambert’s plans for the future of the side, which has sparked interest from the North East although Newcastle are thought to have a problem with Villa’s fee demand.

Paul Lambert has stepped up his efforts to keep Christian Benteke at the club. An improved contract offer has been made to the Belgian striker who contuse to be linked with high profile moves away from the club with Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur still thought to be interested.

Andreas Weimann has put an end to speculation over his future by signing a new contract with the club. The Austrian’s prolific form for the side last season sparked rumours the club could cash in on him but he’s tied himself to a long term deal to be part of the club’s future.

Jores Okore is reportedly close on completing a switch to Aston Villa. The Nordsjaelland defender has revealed he turned down the chance to join Chelsea last January, keen to play regular first team football and protect his future which he didn’t see as possible at Stamford Bridge.

Aston Villa target Nicklas Helenius has admitted he wants to leave AaB and hopes the club will release him this summer. Aston Villa are thought to have had a £5 million offer accepted for the 22-year-old Danish international striker, with the likely problem being the rise of that initial fee.

Football league side Crewe Alexandra have said key youngster Luke Murphy will be staying put. Murphy has been linked as the next talented player to leave the Crewe system with Paul Lambert’s long term admiration of the player making Aston Villa an obvious destination for him.

Aston Villa are thought to be one of the teams interested in signing teenager Jack O’Connell from Blackburn Rovers. O’Connell is a left sided central defender, just 19, who could be tempted to Villa Park by Paul Lambert’s consistent selection of younger players in the first team.

Aston Villa have reached an agreement with Dafabet to become the club’s new main sponsor. The online bookie has agreed a two-year partnership with the club. The company’s logo will appear on both the Aston Villa home and away shirts for the 2013/2014 and 2014/2015 Premier League seasons.

Aston Villa have suggested they will release Shay Given to complete a move to Scottish Premier League champions Celtic. The Irishman has been a reserve to Brad Guzan with no obvious way into the first team at Villa Park, which seems to have sparked interest from the Scottish side.

image: © Ben Sutherland

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