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Eight-man Tampines beaten by Albirex


Koeman eyes Champions League spot

By ESPN Staff

O'Neill still searching for star signings

Manager Martin O'Neill has assured Aston Villa supporters his major transfer targets will sign before the transfer window closes at the end of the month - if the asking price is right.

O'Neill has so far only brought in the West Ham duo Nigel Reo-Coker and Marlon Harewood since owner and chairman Randy Lerner promised 'substantial funds' would be available.

But the former Celtic boss, whose priorities include a right-back and a goalkeeper, will not pay grossly-inflated fees for players.

O'Neill said: 'I am in the process of acquiring some more players. I have allowed some players to go and the owner-chairman has allowed me to run the football club in the fashion I am doing and I will be getting reinforcements in.

'I would prefer to wait a bit longer for the choices I made but between now and transfer deadline day, we will have them in. I am absolutely sure.

'There is no point in me carping on about November and December of last year when we had a severely depleted squad and then finding out we are doing exactly the same this time around.'

O'Neill added: 'How many will be coming in? It is hard to say but by the end of the transfer window I would not want to be out-numbered in the sense of how many have gone out of the club and who has come in so we have a few to bring in.

'The fans will think we are losing some players and the reinforcements have not come at this moment but they will be there.'

Despite his confidence in acquiring new talent, O'Neill made it clear he will not pay silly money for players.

He said: 'Sometimes prices dictate a few things. I don't mind paying slightly over the odds for someone in a market where that is what people are doing.

'But sometimes when it is an enormous amount, I'll have to maybe reconsider. It is trying to get in the players I want and it's also trying to get value for money. If the two equate, then great.'

O'Neill is keen to tie up new deals for youngsters Craig Gardner and Luke Moore and also talk to representatives of Olof Mellberg and Thomas Sorensen, who are in the final year of their current deals.