Houllier defends Villa over Bent

Houllier says he bears no grudges over the verbal attack on him from Bruce but claimed "some people are not telling the truth".

The Frenchman, when asked about Bruce's comments, said: "We have done things extremely right, properly, the right way."

Houllier also defended his decision not to make contact with the Black Cats boss when trying to sign Bent who moved for a club record £18million.

The former Liverpool boss is also adamant Villa did nothing wrong with their conduct in attempting to sign Blackpool midfielder Charlie Adam despite Ian Holloway's outbursts.

Houllier continued: "Paul Faulkner, our chief executive, was in contact with Niall Quinn (Sunderland chairman) and I was kept informed, step by step, during the negotiations.

"I thought, would assume, Niall did the same with Steve Bruce - unless he didn't. I was surprised by some of the declarations and thought, some people are not telling the truth.

"Whether they want to protect themselves from the fans, I don't know. We are happy to have the player, they had the right to say no, but in fact, they just wanted the player for a certain bid."

"I have not spoken to Steve - and I won't. I may have a drink after the games. I am not bearing grudges. If I call him and say I want his player, he will go vocal and go public and it will be even worse. He is working for the interests of Sunderland, I am working for the interests of Aston Villa."

Regarding Holloway's claims, Houllier said: "We did things right. We went straight to the club, we were quiet, we said nothing and finally it comes out in the press but not from Aston Villa. Holloway said we were insulting them. We made a bid, they said no and we respect that."

Source: PA

Source: PA