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Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard pledges to spend January transfer funds wisely

Boss Steven Gerrard has pledged to spend Aston Villa money wisely in January.

Villa has spent nearly £ 330million since returning to the Premier League in 2019 and Gerrard, appointed in November, is eager to make his mark on the squad.

He would like to keep Manchester United defender Axel Tuanzebe, who has been linked with Napoli, on loan while also keen to strengthen his full-back options.

Villa spent £ 87million this summer on Emi Buendia, Leon Bailey and Danny Ings after selling Jack Grealish for a UK record £ 100million to Manchester City – but remains keen to improve.

“The important thing is that we will only sign if we think they are the right ones for the team and for the club to move us forward and improve,” Gerrard said, ahead of Sunday’s trip to Brentford .

“We won’t make them for fun just to add bulk.

“We are looking for and evaluating certain players for certain positions in the team. I’m not going to give too much away because my phone is going to catch fire and start smoking with agents, which I don’t want.

“Myself, Christian Purslow (general manager) and Johan Lange (sporting director) spoke every day last week, especially since I had a lot of free time because of COVID.

“We had good, positive encounters and we identified some people we would like to bring.

“If we can make it happen in this window, so much the better. Otherwise, you may have to be patient and wait for the summer. “

Villa are two points and two places ahead of their hosts, 14th, who are enjoying an impressive first season in the Premier League.

They drew 1-1 at Villa Park in August and Gerrard admired what his counterpart Thomas Frank achieved.

He added: “It’s a good team with a really fascinating manager. I love hearing his press conferences, I love the way he trains on the side of the pitch.

“He did an incredible job at Brentford and I can’t wait to play against him and so do the team. We are on the back of a disappointing result but a performance that had a lot of positive in it.

“They have dangerous individuals on their team, but they really are a team. There isn’t a lot of egos in the Brentford squad so there’s a lot to admire about them.