O’Neill: We have to sell to buy

Martin O’Neill is unlikely to be bringing many players to Villa Park in the summer transfer window this year.

The Aston Villa manager has admitted that he has already been told by chairman Randy Lerner that he will have to sell players to fund any purchases, and he is proceeding on that basis.

“As the chairman mentioned at the back end of last season, it’s a case of probably having to sell to buy,” said O’Neill. “That’s something I’m delving into at the moment.”

O’Neill has been linked with a number of players in the past few weeks, including Irish trio Aiden McGeady, Stephen Ireland and Robbie Keane.

The Derry man insisted that the speculation does not bother him however, saying that it comes with the territory.

“I expect that anyway, because we’re a top quality Premiership side,” he said.

One player expected to be making his way out of the Birmingham club is James Milner, who is expected to complete a move to Manchester City, which has stalled as the clubs negotiate a price for the player.

O’Neill, who lost another star midfielder to Man City last season in the form of Gareth Barry, admitted that Aston Villa simply cannot compete with a club which boasts such massive resources.

“Obviously they are in a kind of a different stratosphere to ourselves at this moment,” said O’Neill.

“They are building up a squad capable of challenging for the Premiership.”

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