Robert Pires to join Aston Villa - Premier League - Football - The Independent

Robert Pires to join Aston Villa

Aston Villa today confirmed that former Arsenal and France midfielder Robert Pires will join the club later this week.

The 1998 World Cup winner has been in talks with the club as a free agent following his release by Spanish side Villarreal in the summer.

Villa boss Gerard Houllier is currently short of options in midfield due to injuries while Pires has been training with Arsenal and could be thrown into action quickly.

Pires, 37, won two Premier League titles and three FA Cups with the Gunners as well as the European Championship trophy in 2000 with France.

Villa assistant manager Gary McAllister told the club's website, avfc.co.uk: "Robert has been training at Arsenal.

"I know the boss and Arsene Wenger are very friendly and I believe he's going to join us in the next two or three days.

"It's perfect. I am sure he will arrive at the training ground in good condition. He's a player everyone can look up to because of what he has achieved."

Meanwhile, Houllier has ruled out the possibility of trying to sign Manchester United striker Michael Owen in January.

Houllier was previously in charge of Owen during his successful spell at Liverpool.

But the Frenchman confirmed he will not attempt to be reunited with the former England player during the next transfer window.

Houllier expects to have Emile Heskey and John Carew available after injury lay-offs within the next month.

Gabriel Agbonlahor has already returned to action after six weeks on the sidelines following groin surgery.

When asked if he would try to sign Owen in January, Houllier said: "No, no. In terms of some strikers Emile and John will come back.

"There is no point."

But Houllier did confirm: "We definitely need to sign one or two players in January."

Houllier has called for patience in giving his crop of exciting young players, such as Marc Albrighton and Barry Bannan, time to develop.

He said: "The only thing with young players is you need sometimes to be patient and sometimes to be indulgent.

"I think at some stage one of them will have a very poor game but you must not judge on one game. It's a whole picture thing.

"That's what I said to young Bannan because he was distraught after the game against Burnley in the Carling Cup.

"I said 'hang on, you're not in the team because of one game'. He thought it was a make-or-break game.

"I said 'no, it's a whole thing, you will miss games, you will have better games'.

"Sometimes they are a little bit impatient."

Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape
music
News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
filmMatt Damon in talks to return
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
peopleThe report and photo dedicated to the actress’s decolletage has, unsurprisingly, provoked anger
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Life and Style
tech... and together they're worth at least £100 million
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig is believed to be donning skies as 007 for the first time
Arts and Entertainment
Fringe show: 'Cilla', with Sheridan Smith in the title role and Aneurin Barnard as her future husband Bobby Willis
tvEllen E Jones on ITV's 'Cilla'
Life and Style
Bono and Apple CEO Tim Cook announced U2's surprise new album at the iPhone 6 launch
tech(but you can't escape: Bono is always on your iPhone)
Sport
Tim Wiese
sport
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week