MacDonald seeks Lerner talks

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Aston Villa caretaker manager Kevin MacDonald is hoping to speak to owner Randy Lerner over the next few days to find out whether there is any cash to spend in the transfer market.

MacDonald will continue to hold the reins for the next few days at least, taking in Thursday's Europa League play-off with Rapid Vienna and Sunday's Barclays Premier League trip to Newcastle.

The departure of James Milner to Manchester City will have freed some funds but whether MacDonald gets the opportunity to invest is another matter, as he said: "At the moment I've not spoken to Mr Lerner or Paul (Faulkner, chief executive) about who is controlling the transfers."

He added: "The only ongoing transfer when I took over related to Stephen (Ireland) and James, so probably after the game I might be able to speak to them.

"If not we've Sunday's game to look forward to as well, so we've so much going on for me to try and get my head round.

"But after Sunday we've only 10 days to see what there is and if there are going to be any dealings in the market."

MacDonald's immediate priority is to steer Villa into the group stages of the Europa League, a feat Martin O'Neill was unable to achieve last season after losing out on away goals to Rapid.

"It's a very big game for us," added MacDonald. "Villa have obviously had outstanding evenings in Europe, some when I've been here, some previously. We've a big reputation in Europe.

"But it's also very important to stay in the competition for squad players, the youngsters to play matches, and we'll be doing our utmost to stay in.

"I did say last week that whilst I was in charge, be it two games or 20, that everyone would be given an opportunity."

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Europa League
Manchester City
James Milner
Premier League
Newcastle United
Aston Villa

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