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Aston Villa target Roberto Di Matteo as new manager

Aston Villa are expected to step up their move for Roberto Di Matteo after Chinese businessman Tony Xia completed his takeover

Di Matteo is Aston Villa's number one target. Credit: Reuters

Villa confirmed in a statement that former owner Randy Lerner's reign had finally come to a close following the deal with Xia's Recon Group.

A club statement read: "Aston Villa Football Club is pleased to announce that an agreement has been signed today for the sale of 100 per cent ownership by Randy Lerner to Recon Group owned by Dr Tony Jiantong Xia subject to the approval of the Premier League and the Football League."

Xia has reportedly already been in contact with representatives of former West Brom and Chelsea boss Di Matteo over taking up the role vacated by Remi Garde - although other contenders remain in the frame.

In the statement Villa said Xia developed his love of the game after playing as a striker whilst at college - and that he had become a fan of Villa "many years ago".

It added: "Dr Xia's immediate objective is to return Aston Villa to the Premier League and then to have the club finish in the top six, bringing European football back to Villa Park. He plans to make Aston Villa the most famous football club in China with a huge fan base."


Bevington leaves advisory position at Aston Villa

Bevington joined the club to review and evaluate the managerial position and playing staff. Credit: PA

Adrian Bevington has left his advisory position with Aston Villa, the club have announced.

Former Football Association executive Bevington joined the club to review and evaluate the managerial position and playing staff at Villa Park in March.

He follows David Bernstein and Lord Mervyn King after the pair quit the relegated side last month and stating their new football board had found it impossible to implement a new structure.


Black: It is not fun being Aston Villa boss

Eric Black only knows defeat. Credit: PA

Aston Villa caretaker manager Eric Black admits he has not enjoyed being in charge of the sinking club.

The 52-year-old has lost his four games since taking over from Remi Garde last month and Villa were relegated from the Barclays Premier League on his watch two weeks ago.

I've got to be honest - I don't think there's been a lot of enjoyment.

I don't want it to sound like I'm looking for sympathy because I'm not but there's a lot of negativity around, especially over the last seven or eight weeks and that has made it hard.

This is not a normal job in football, you're not working with normal football elements here.

But the elements are what they are and I'm caretaker manager so I will do what I can to make sure it remains professional and hopefully get a result Saturday.

– Eric Black

Agbonlahor quits as Aston Villa captain

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Aston Villa striker Gabby Agbonlahor has stepped down as the club's captain following his latest suspension.

Agbonlahor also apologised for his actions in recent weeks, which saw him pictured partying hours after the club had been relegated.

The forward released a statement on Instagram:

I do not deserve to carry out such a role anymore.

This role was a huge honour to me and it hurts to have lost it.

My celebrations and passion, especially in games against local rivals, shows my loyalty to Aston Villa.

I am asking Aston Villa fans for forgiveness as I'm hurting as well despite reports and photos in the press making out otherwise.

I agree my performances this season have not been good enough but I will be working hard to make things right! Up The Villa, Villa Till I Die!

– Gabby Agbonlahor
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