Parker in Aston Villa's sights while McLeish starts £20m spree with N'Zogbia
Alex McLeish hopes to persuade Scott Parker to join Aston Villa this week, when the new Villa manager looks to begin spending the proceeds of Stewart Downing's £20m sale on Charles N'Zogbia, Shay Given and the West Ham captain.
The deal with Wigan Athletic for N'Zogbia has already been agreed and the player, who will cost around £10m, should sign this week. Manchester City want £5m for Given and have already rejected a bid of £2m from Villa but should settle for between £3m and £4m.
Parker, 30, has been looked at by Arsenal and Tottenham as a possible acquisition this summer. Spurs have been slow off the mark in this transfer window with chairman Daniel Levy focusing his efforts on selling around six squad players – they have taken 28 on tour to South Africa – including David Bentley, Jermaine Jenas and Wilson Palacios before he starts sanctioning new signings.
McLeish hopes that he can use the Downing money from Liverpool to sign Parker this week. The midfielder is valued at around £9m and has been the subject of interest from his former club Chelsea, who would like him on loan. For Villa, a return of three players with the revenue from Downing shows why the club were prepared to sell the England winger. The club are also on the look-out for a left-back, with Stephen Warnock keen to move back to the north-west.
The former Villa manager Gérard Houllier claimed yesterday that he still had "unfinished business" in the game even though heart problems in April eventually forced him to step down from the manager's job. He said he would "definitely be linked with football" in the future.
"We had a case of unfinished business [at Villa]," he added. "There was an option of leaving the team to Gary McAllister, who was my assistant, and I would come back in September but the chairman and owner wanted to go another route and I have to respect that. We left on good terms, no acrimony.
"I just want to make sure I get fit again and then we'll see. But I will follow the doctors' advice and if the advice is not to get back into management, I won't. The strong advice was not to go back to business until the end of September but they are happy with the recovery."
Latest in Sport
Manchester United can learn lessons from the transfer template of rivals Manchester City
Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea top the list of the Premier League's most expensive squads
Harry Kane: Tottenham striker confident of rediscovering goal-scoring form after chat with Alan Shearer
Cyprus vs Wales match report: Gareth Bale's bullet header has Welsh on brink of Euro 2016
Anthony Martial: Manchester United's new signing received Patrice Evra's boots as a kid
- 1 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
- 2 President Obama comments on Humans of New York photo from Iran
- 4 The Chinese city where men have 'three girlfriends because there are so many women'
- 5 German police forced to ask public to stop bringing donations for refugees arriving by train
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 200,000 back our campaign
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up