x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

McLeish to lay down ground rules at Aston Villa

Reading reject move for Mills, West Brom wait on David Vaughan and Zoltan Gera.

Wolves

Brian McDermott, the Reading manager, has confirmed the club have rejected a bid from Wolves for their central defender Matt Mills. McDermott insists the offer - believed to be in the region of £3 million (Dh17.7m) - is below their valuation of Mills, which is around £4m.

Stoke City are also understood to be interested in the Reading captain. "We've had an offer from Wolves [for Mills] which was turned down," McDermott told the Reading Chronicle: "It was way off our valuation. I don't know if they will come back for more. They may do but I don't want to encourage clubs to bid for our players." Shane Long, the Reading striker, has also attracted the interest of Wolves.

Queens Park Rangers

The Premier League newcomers have moved to quash speculation over the future of Neil Warnock. Rumours have been circulating he had resigned as manager following disagreements with major shareholder Flavio Briatore, but Rangers yesterday issued a statement on their official website to clarify the situation.

The statement read: "The club would like to make it clear that Neil Warnock has not resigned from his post and is continuing to work hard behind the scenes ahead of the R's return to pre-season training next week. We would once again advise QPR supporters to ignore idle speculation and reiterate that news is only official once it appears via our communication channels."

Liverpool

Alberto Aquilani insists he is looking forward to returning to Anfield following his season-long loan at Juventus. The midfielder was not offered a permanent deal by the Turin giants despite making 33 league appearances for them last term. "I return to Liverpool with great enthusiasm," Aquilani told Sky Italia.

"This is not a problem. It's not true that I didn't want to return to England." Liverpool signed Aquilani for a reported fee of £20m from Roma in 2009 and he is under contract with the Reds until June 2014.

West Bromwich Albion

West Brom anticipate finding out in the next 24 hours if they have been successful in their bid to sign the midfielders David Vaughan and Zoltan Gera.

Albion have offered terms to Vaughan and Gera, who are available on free transfers after the end of their contracts at Blackpool and Fulham respectively. Vaughan has been offered a new contract by Blackpool but wants to remain in the Premier League.

Aston Villa

Alex McLeish will "lay down some ground rules" on how he expects his squad to behave when they report back on July 7 for pre-season training. The new manager was renowned for fostering a strong team spirit at Birmingham during his three and a half years in charge at St Andrew's.

But the former Scotland boss will also stand no nonsense if players step out of line. McLeish said: "I don't think there is any doubt about the fact that I'm in charge. Where we're coming from is that we will lay down some ground rules.

Chelsea

Jeffrey Bruma, the Dutch defender, has joined Hamburg on a two-year loan deal. Since Frank Arnesen arrived in Hamburg to become director of sports, the Bundesliga club has signed four young players from his former club. The other three are Michael Mancienne, Gokhan Tore and Jacopo Sala.