Midlands latest: Vlaar 'loves it' at Villa; WBA reject third bid for defender

Molineux - Wolves - Billy Wright Stand

We bring you the latest news from Aston Villa, Leicester City, Stoke City, Wolverhampton Wanderers and West Bromwich Albion

1) Vlaar loves it at Villa

Paul Lambert says that Ron Vlaar ‘loves’ playing for Aston Villa and that he is raring to go ahead of the new campaign.

Vlaar has been linked with a host of clubs after an impressive World Cup for Holland, but Villa are determined to keep hold of him and Lambert seems convinced that the is ready to give his all for his current team.

The commanding defender has just one year left on his contract at Villa Park with a range of clubs looking to capitalise on his potential availability, but Lambert has revealed he will sit down with the 29-year-old in the near future to discuss his future.

"I had a brief conversation with Ron," Lambert said.

"No doubt I will sit with him when we have time a bit more time when we're back. He's positive and raring to go; he's looking forward to getting going. That, in itself, is a plus.

"He loves it here. That's him back now and he's looking forward to the Stoke game."

2) Pearson excited by the competition for places

Leicester City manager, Nigel Pearson, says he is excited to see which players force their way into the Foxes’ starting line-up ahead of their Premier League campaign.

Leicester drew their most recent friendly match 1-1 with Preston North End and Pearson admitted that his side were some way off where he wanted them to be.

However, he is not unduly concerned by his side’s failure to beat the League One promotion hopefuls and he says that is interested to see who will step up between now and the start of the season.

“We have very good competition for a number of places now,” he said. “It will be an interesting last couple of weeks.

“We were slightly off the pace [against Preston]. We weren’t as fluid at times as we have been. There were various reasons for that and it always interests me when people want to read too much into pre-season games.”

3) Baggies reject Burnley’s bid for Craig Dawson

Burnley have failed with a third attempt to sign West Bromwich Albion want-away defender Craig Dawson.

The newly promoted Premier League side have made three offers for Baggies young centre-back, but none have met WBA’s asking price with Alan Irvine hoping to keep him as part of the squad this season.

Doing that may be hard, as Dawson has already expressed a desire to leave the Hawthorns, but Burnley’s persistent failure to get their man may put them off, as they fear paying over the odds this summer.

4) Jackett wants a longer look at Max Clayton

Kenny Jackett says that he will need to take a longer look at Max Clayton before making a decision on his future.

The former Crewe youngster has been on trial at the club for the past week and played 15 minutes in Wolves’ most recent friendly against Celta Viga and Jackett is keen to continue to test the youngster.

“I’ll speak to him first and see where we are,” Jackett said.

“Whether that’s a prolonged trial or another game, we’ll see.

“Max has completed his week and Kevin Thelwell was here on Saturday as well to see him.

“We’ll talk about the situation with him; he had a decent week and looks a very good footballer.”

5) Asmir Begovic better for World Cup experience

Stoke City goalkeeper Asmir Begovic has spoken of the great experience he had at the World Cup and how it was another stepping stone for him on his footballing career.

Begovic played every minute of Bosnia’s World Cup campaign in Brazil this summer and he says he has become a stronger player as a result.

However, his focus is now fully on the Potters and he can’t wait to get back to playing with the rest of the squad – as Mark Hughes’ side look to build on their performance last season.

"I had a great break, which did me some good, but now I'm looking forward to getting back with the team," Begovic said.

"It was a great experience for me out there.

"Everything that came with the World Cup was fantastic and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience.

"We gave it our best and made the most of the whole experience, which was our goal.

"Playing on the world's biggest stage was fantastic and another stepping stone as a player to prove you can do it.

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