All the latest news, views and transfer stories from Villa Park...
Lambert expects Vlaar stay
With news that captain Ron Vlaar is set to be sidelined for four to six weeks after undergoing a knee operation, Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert doesn't expect his captain to be making a move this month.
Out of contract in the summer, Vlaar has continued to be linked with the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool since his impressive World Cup showing, but his latest fitness setback appears to have put paid to a mid-season exit.
"He had his scope on Wednesday so maybe it'll be four to six weeks but it's not as bad as it could have been," Lambert told Sky Sports News HQ.
"It's the same kind of injury he had at the World Cup, he hurt it and then played in the semi final. He’s in the last year of his contract now so I wouldn’t have thought [there’ll be bids]."
With Vlaar, Philippe Senderos and Nathan Baker all missing time this season, Jores Okore and Ciaran Clark have formed a solid centre-back partnership and Lambert expects the pair to keep up their fine form over the coming weeks.
"The two of them have been outstanding," he added. "To be fair to the lads we have the fifth best defensive record in the league and they have been a major part of that.
"The back four and Guz [Brad Guzan] shows you the cornerstone is pretty strong."
Lambert coy on Sinclair move
Villa have also been strongly linked with a move for Manchester City misfit Scott Sinclair over the past week, with some outlets suggesting that a £2.5 million deal was close to being completed.
Conflicting reports have since been circulating that the club's bid for the winger has hit a stumbling block over both the fee and his wage demands, but Lambert would not be drawn on developments at this tense stage.
"To be honest, I don’t really want to be talking about somebody else’s player," he said. “If you do that you’ll be talking about every player in Europe.
"We’re just looking at all our different options and scenarios, and seeing what we can and can’t do.
"That’s what I’m trying to do at the minute, so it’s unfair on City and it’s unfair on the lad himself to speak about anything."
Swansea weighing up move for Matthew Lowton
In other transfer news, Matthew Lowton could be heading for the exit door at Villa Park if reports are to believed, with Swansea City said to be considering a £2 million bid for the out-of-favour right-back after missing out on Tottenham Hotspur's Kyle Naughton.
According to the Telegraph, Lowton has grown frustrated at Villa after failing to push Alan Hutton out of the starting line-up and wants a chance to revive his career elsewhere, although Lambert remains reluctant to weaken his squad.
"Matty is more frustrated than most because every time Alan has been suspended he's come in and done well," the Scot said.
"He's probably got a good case for going out on loan but I'd be reluctant to let him out. We can't leave ourselves stretched."
Villa target £4 million Valencia midfielder
Bringing in reinforcements instead seem to be the plan this month, and latest reports have linked Villa with a £4 million move for Valencia attacking midfielder Carles Gil.
According to Spanish news outlet Plaza Deportiva, the Claret and Blues are the lone club in the running for Gil's signature at this point, although fellow La Liga sides Cordoba and Espanyol have expressed interest in the past.
Aged 22, the former Spain Under-21 international spent the previous two seasons on loan at Elche, but has struggled to break into the first-team at his parent club this term, making just 11 appearances across all competitions.
He is said to be waiting to see if Valencia can make him a more concrete promise of regular first team football, however, before deciding to seek out a move elsewhere.