Transfer deadline day: Aston Villa and Hull ready for Tom Cleverley battle after Paul Lambert lands the first blow

Villa beat the FA Cup finalists 2-1 on Sunday but both Lambert and Steve Bruce will turn their attentions to wrapping up any deadline day deals

Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert and Hull counterpart Steve Bruce left Villa Park on Sunday with differing performances to reflect on but similar ambitions for transfer deadline day.

The hosts came out 2-1 winners, a rather modest scoreline given their early dominance over the lacklustre Tigers, to give them seven points from a possible nine and their best start to the season since 2006.

For Hull boss Bruce it was a second successive setback, having been knocked out of the Europa League play-offs on away goals in midweek.

But neither manager will spend long reflecting on the match on Monday, instead hoping to be busy completing deals before the window closes.


Hull and Villa are two of the clubs linked with Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley, valued at around £8million, but neither was minded to talk up their chances.

Lambert said only: "There's no update on that. He's still a Manchester United player. Nothing's gone forward on that."

Bruce, meanwhile, was evasive on his own reported interest.

"Everyone keeps writing about Cleverley but I can't see it. I don't think it will happen," he said.

Bruce is significantly more upbeat about closing out a club record deal for £10million-rated Palermo striker Abel Hernandez.

Virtually all of the loose threads on that deal have been tied up, including a work permit which was granted on Friday.

"We expect that to be completed," said Bruce.

"We're just waiting for the signature, hopefully everything's okay there."

Read more: Aston Villa 2 Hull 1 match report
Comment: Heavy hearts as transfer spend nears £1bn

Bruce also confirmed the signing of 20-year-old Irish defender Brian Lenihan from Cork City and is in the market for at least one more player as part of an extensive squad upgrade.

One victim of that looks to be forward George Boyd, who is close to joining newly-promoted Burnley.

"We allowed George to speak to Burnley and personally I wish him well, it looks like he will go," said Bruce.

"He got an offer of a three- or four-year contract at Burnley and the chance to play."

Lambert is ready to sanction Karim El Ahmadi's return to former club Feyenoord but also hopes to see some new arrivals.

"Karim will probably go back. El Ahmadi looks like he is going to sign at Feyenood," said the Scot.

"He's in the last year of his contract and we'd lose him for the African Nations (Cup) anyway so it makes sense.

"If we can bring in one or two and it's right for the football club I'm pretty sure (chairman) Randy Lerner will be right on it.

"If we can get one or two in I'll do it."


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