Aston Villa turn attention to transfer targets Christian Benteke and Joe Bennett


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The Independent Football

Paul Lambert celebrated his first win as Aston Villa manager and then set his sights on strengthening his squad with Genk striker Christian Benteke and Middlesbrough defender Joe Bennett on his wish list.

Goals from Fabian Delph, Chris Herd and Darren Bent secured a comfortable 3-0 home success over Tranmere in the second round of the Capital One Cup last night.

Now Lambert will focus on to trying to bolster his resources before the transfer window shuts on Friday evening.

Villa have already had one bid - believed to be around £5million - rejected for Belgium international Benteke, while an offer is being lined up for England Under-21 defender Bennett.

Lambert said: "It (the Benteke deal) is not something I've thought about because of the game. I'll wait and see.

"There is no point in me talking about it until something happens. Tomorrow (Wednesday) we've just got to try and see where we are with Genk and they will probably throw the ball back in our court.

"I will wait and see what happens between now and Friday."

Lambert has turned his attention to signing left-back Bennett after Ipswich knocked back a bid to sign Aaron Cresswell.

He said: "With Joe Bennett hopefully something might happen on that. Has a bid gone in? Near enough.

"I won't talk about his qualities until I know (if a deal has gone through). It's unfair on Villa and Middlesbrough and unfair on the lad himself.

"If we can do something with a few people, we'd like to do something. There are three days to go before the window shuts and things go for you and against you.

"It's been like that so I will wait and see."

Lambert was happy with his side's performance against Rovers which produced only Villa's second home win in nine months.

He said: "I know from experience those type of games can be tricky and it was really pleasing. It is never easy to win a match, no matter what level you are up against.

"Tranmere gave a really good account of themselves and Ronnie Moore has got them going well in their own league."

However, Tranmere boss Moore was disappointed with his side's performance at Villa Park.

He said: "We are better than we showed. No-one expected us to win but we would have liked to have put in a better performance.

"Even though Villa are struggling in the Premier League, they have got quality all over the place."