No panic buying at Aston Villa

Lerner has splashed out more than 200 million in his six years in charge and last summer manager Paul Lambert spent nearly 23 million in revamping the squad.

The days of Villa spending a club-record ?24 million for striker Darren Bent are no longer on the agenda for Lerner. But he recognises Villa's current battle against relegation from the Barclays Premier League means funds have to be made available to manager Paul Lambert during the transfer window.

Lerner watched the 1-0 home setback against Southampton at the weekend via a television link in the United States - a result that saw Villa slide into the bottom three.

Lambert has indicated he would like to bring in "one or two signings" during January but has nothing but praise for Lerner's financial support for Villa.

He said: "I always speak to Randy. I've always had a good relationship with him. If you look at the years he's been here, I don't know how much money he has put in but it's a lot of money.

"If a couple of players come in during January, then great. But you can't fault Randy for what he's done for this club, that's for sure.

"January always gives you an opportunity to bring people in. Listen, we have conversations all the time and it would be wrong for me to say there is 'X' amount available. You can work with what you've got and if one or two come in, then great. As I said on Friday, we will try and do something."

Lambert remains confident Villa will survive and preserve their record of 25 successive years of top-flight football.

He said: "Do I still think Villa will be safe? Yes. Because? I just do. I said that from day one. I just do. If you look at the middle of that table, there is not much in it. There are about eight or nine teams all close."

Source: PA

Source: PA