Aston Villa rubbish sale rumours

Reports have surfaced in recent weeks suggesting the American is considering selling the Midlands club after years of spending cuts

Aston Villa have denied rumours that chairman Randy Lerner wishes to sell the club.

Lerner took over in 2006, with the club racking up three consecutive sixth-placed Premier League finishes under Martin O'Neill.

The Northern Irishman's departure, and a subsequent tightening of the budget, has seen Villa embroiled in recent relegation battles.

Paul Lambert has overseen an overhaul of the squad at Villa Park, placing a focus on youth development, and the club currently sit 10th in the table.

Reports over the weekend had linked Villa with a £200 million takeover, although the club have now moved to quash them.

Chief executive Paul Faulkner told The Express and Star: "I can categorically confirm Aston Villa Football Club has absolutely not been put up for sale and that Randy Lerner is not actively looking to sell the club."

Villa have broken their transfer record four times under Lerner - the last instance seeing £18m splashed out on Darren Bent, currently on-loan at Fulham.

Since then, however, spending has been cut with only Libor Kozak, Christian Benteke and Charles N'Zogbia purchased for fees over £5m in the last three years.