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Premier League: Aston Villa Chairman Randy Lerner concentrates on next season

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According to one leading business website, the­busi­nes­sde­sk.­com, Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner has said he is turning his full focus onto the organisation necessary for the upcoming Premier League season as no buyer has yet been found for the up-for-sale club.

It is the first public statement that Lerner has made since he announced he was putting the club up for sale after last season’s disappointing campaign came to a close.

Writing on Aston Villa’s official website, he said: “This statement is intended to provide clarity regarding the status of the sale announcement I made in early May.

“Over the last eight weeks we conducted a targeted process during which we explored the sale of the club.

“In advance of this process, however, I committed to our manager to become completely focused on the upcoming season should there be no agreement to sell by the time players and coaches return to training.

“Given that no agreement has as of yet been reached, I feel that it is time now to turn my full attention back to Villa matters at hand.

“While the sale process has been productive and remains ongoing, my priority at this point in the summer, heading into the upcoming season, is that the Villa organisation's sole focus be football - undistracted by any sales process.

“Reverting to common practice, I do not intend to comment further on a potential sale or related rumours unless and until I have reached a definitive agreement to sell, at which time I will be prompt and clear.”

Villa have been linked with a number of potential buyers - mainly US-based billionaires who already own sporting franchises in their own country - but nothing concrete has emerged from those links.

Media rumours suggested Lerner had slashed the asking price from more than £200m to £150m to facilitate a sale.

Meanwhile, Villa fans have expressed their frustration on supporters’ site and on local newspaper websites about a lack of meaningful transfer activity.

So far this summer the club has have brought in midfielder Joe Cole and defender Philippe Senderos. Cole had become a free agent after being released by West Ham while Senderos had been playing in Spain after an unsuccessful spell at Fulham.

The only other ‘signing’ of note has been former Manchester United and Ireland star Roy Keane who has joined the club as manager Paul Lambert’s assistant.

LM

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