Former Real scout Vetere appointed by Villa

Gerard Houllier is poised to expand the scope of Aston Villa's recruitment system after appointing Jeff Vetere as the club's new chief scout.

Houllier wants Vetere, who previously worked at Newcastle and Real Madrid and speaks seven languages, to set up a worldwide network to help Villa search out the best young talent both at home and abroad.

"We need to have a structure and somebody who has got a network," Houllier explained.

"It is good to have someone who knows that 'this one is at the end of his contract' or 'this one is available' or 'we should have a look at this one'. Some other clubs are far more equipped in terms of personnel for that."

Houllier revealed the spiralling cost of English talent is forcing teams to look further afield in their efforts to seek out new players: "Initially I prefer to have English players, but English players are usually more expensive than the rest.

"If you look at teams like Bolton and Blackburn, they have players from everywhere in the world now so you need to have networks practically in all continents."

Discussing the qualities the experienced Vetere will bring to his new role, Houllier said: "He knows football inside out, he's got a lot of people and a good network. He can speak seven languages and now you need to have scouts that can travel. He will work closely with me. A lot of the other people I interviewed for the job were good, but the little details made all the difference."

Meanwhile, the new owners of Houllier's old club, Liverpool, have appointed global headhunters Spencer Stuart to begin a worldwide search for a new chief executive.

Previous incumbent Christian Purslow stepped down last month, having played a key role in the sale of the club to the Americans, although he was retained by New England Sports Ventures (NESV) in an advisory capacity.

The global executive search firm, who were responsible for recruiting Richard Scudamore as chief executive of the Premier League and Ivan Gazidis in a similar role at Arsenal, will begin their task immediately.

Their brief is to find "business leaders with an interest in, and experience of, football" according to a statement from NESV.

Principal owner John Henry and chairman Tom Werner will be responsible for appointing Liverpool's new CEO, which they hope to do early in the new year.

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