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Zenit sign Bart Simpson

The Toe Poke 14 hours ago
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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jan 11, 2006

Villa takeover is still on say consortium

The consortium striving to buy Aston Villa have rubbished reports the £64million bid for the midlands club has collapsed.

Sources close to Irish property magnates Brian and Luke Comer insist claims the deal was dead and buried were 'totally wrong and 'not true' and that both sides were 'still talking'.

There has been speculation the consortium, which also includes Villa fan and frontman Michael Neville, are around £10million short of meeting the asking price.

But suggestions they have already pulled the plug on any possible takeover have been quashed.

Villa chairman Doug Ellis has indicated he is willing to sell after more than two decades at the helm if any interested parties can meet the asking price.

A £47million bid from a consortium including ex-Manchester City player Ray Ranson was rejected in the summer.

It had been hoped the takeover would be completed by Christmas and there have since been claims and counter-claims from both sides as to how close a deal is to being struck.

But the delay means it unlikely Villa manager David O'Leary will have any money to spend before the January transfer window closes.

Villa spokesman Phil Mepham said: 'As far as we are concerned, we have not been informed of any changes to the current position.'

Meanwhile, Ellis is back at his Villa Park after undergoing a minor operation on Monday and dismissed claims his health should be a cause for concern.

The 82-year-old underwent triple bypass heart surgery in June and was back working within two months.

Ellis would not go into details of his latest surgery but said: 'I'm fine. I had a procedure under anaesthetic on Monday. It was just a very small operation and I was back in the office the same day.'