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Villa confirm Wilkins appointment

Aston Villa have confirmed the appointment of Ray Wilkins as assistant to manager Tim Sherwood.

The 58-year-old, who announced his impending arrival in a television interview last week, will start work immediately.

Sherwood said: "I'm really pleased to bring Ray on board. He has a fantastic knowledge of the game and I'm looking forward to working with him."

Villa have also confirmed that Kevin MacDonald, who was drafted in as Sherwood's assistant in February, will remain at the club and work to develop home-grown players.

Cascarino urges Villa to cash in on Liverpool target Benteke

Benteke has been linked with Liverpool. Credit: PA

Former Aston Villa striker Tony Cascarino has urged the club to cash in on Christian Benteke if he wants to leave.

Villa remain hopeful that the 24-year-old Belgium international, who reportedly has a £32.5million buy-out clause in his current contract, will sign a new deal amid speculation that Manchester United and Liverpool could launch bids to land him this summer.

The former Republic of Ireland international told the Express and Star: "You're fortunate to play for clubs like Villa and I believe if the player doesn't want to be there, then you have to look elsewhere.

"I don't like keeping players who don't want to play for you. I'm not convinced clubs are sure at £32million.

"He came back after injury and looked a shadow of the player for six months. He looked nowhere near the Benteke that ripped teams apart and took on teams on his own at times, and then he got back into the fold once Tim got the job and looked the Benteke of old.

"But that's only over a four-month period."

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Derby snap up Aston Villa striker

Weimann has joined Derby. Credit: PA

Forward Andreas Weimann has joined former Aston Villa team-mate Darren Bent at Derby after agreeing a four-year deal with the Rams.

Weimann has joined Paul Clement's ambitious side for an undisclosed fee, reported to be around £2.75million.

The 23-year-old has spent his entire senior career at Villa, barring two loan spells at Watford in 2011, making 129 appearances and scoring 24 times.

Aston Villa boss: Richards is a winner

Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood has explained why he signed Micah Richards, insisting the England defender will bring a "winning mentality" to the club.

Richards picked up Premier League and FA Cup winners' medals in his time at Manchester City but spent last season on loan at Fiorentina before agreeing a four-year deal with Villa on Wednesday.

Micah Richards has moved to Villa Park. Credit: PA

"Micah is a winner. He helped Manchester City win their first Premier League title in 44 years, has won the FA Cup and has played in the Champions League," Sherwood told the official Villa website.

"So we are signing a player who is used to winning football matches. I want players with that winning mentality here.

"And we are also signing a player at his peak.

"At 26, we are getting him when he should be producing the best football of his career."

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Aston Villa to offer Benteke new contract

Aston Villa chief executive Tom Fox has confirmed Christian Benteke will be offered a new contract this summer to try to stave off interested clubs.

Benteke's current contract has two years left to run and Villa manager Tim Sherwood has revealed the terms contain a buyout clause thought to be £32.5million.

Christian Benteke is wanted by a few clubs. Credit: PA

The striker signed that deal in July 2013 to end speculation linking him with a move to Tottenham and Villa now hope to pull off a similar manoeuvre this summer.

"There has been a lot of speculation and I'm not going to contribute to it or play any of our transfer strategy out in the press," said Fox, speaking at the Sport Industry Breakfast Club.

"But we will offer Christian Benteke a new deal this summer, of course we will."

Aston Villa offer captain Ron Vlaar new contract

Aston Villa have offered a new contract to defender Ron Vlaar but released striker Darren Bent, the club have confirmed.

Sherwood is determined to keep hold of Vlaar. Credit: PA

Vlaar's current deal expires at the end of the month and boss Tim Sherwood has previously underlined his desire to keep him at Villa Park.

Vlaar admitted after Villa's FA Cup semi-final win over Liverpool in April that Sherwood's appointment as manager had changed things for him at the club and he was considering staying.

The Holland international had previously been expected to leave the club he joined from Feyenoord in 2012.

Sherwood had shelved any contract talks with Vlaar until Villa had secured their Barclays Premier League future, with the club eventually finishing 17th.

Vlaar, 30, has made 88 appearances for Villa and captained the side before being replaced as skipper by Fabian Delph this season.

Southampton were interested in Vlaar last year after he excelled in Holland's run to the World Cup semi-final, where they lost to Argentina in a penalty shoot-out with Vlaar missing from the spot.

Everton closing in on deal for Man United midfielder

Everton are edging closer to completing the signing of out-of-contract Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley.

Cleverley impressed on loan at Villa last season. Credit: PA

The 25-year-old spent last season on loan at FA Cup finalists Aston Villa after a deadline-day move to the Toffees last summer collapsed.

He has previously worked with Everton manager Roberto Martinez during a season-long loan at Wigan in 2010-11 and the Catalan is a known admirer of the England international.

Press Association Sport understands talks between the player and club are at an advanced stage but, contrary to reports, the deal has not yet been completed.

Liverpool target Benteke 'not thinking' about Villa

Christian Benteke has remained tight-lipped over his Aston Villa future but insisted he knows what he wants.

Benteke could be leaving Aston Villa this summer. Credit: PA

The striker has offered no promises he will stay at Villa after the summer following his stunning end-of-season form.

He has been linked with a move to Liverpool and has a release fee clause in his contract, with agent Eris Kismet reportedly saying the Belgium international is keen to play for a club in Europe.

And Benteke refused to offer any assurances he will remain at Villa Park.

"It's about him (Kismet), he knows what I want and I'll let him do the job," said the 24-year-old, currently with his national side ahead of their Euro 2016 qualifier against Wales and friendly with France.

"I don't know, I don't think about Aston Villa now. I did my season with Villa and now I am focused with the national team.

"It's important to play. If you want to be in the first 11 you have to play in your club."

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