Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill held high-level transfer talks yesterday.

The Guardian says O'Neill spent yesterday discussing his targets with Paul Faulkner, a club director who is a close ally of the owner, Randy Lerner, having returned from Euro 2008, where he has been working as a pundit for the BBC. With Villa's squad short of numbers, O'Neill is expected to be busier than many of his counterparts this summer.

Steve Sidwell, the Chelsea midfielder, is predicted to be among his recruits.