A new defender and a new striker are Aston Villa's targets as the pre-season preparations continue.
David O?Leary, the manager, has already signed Patrik Berger, Aaron Hughes, Stuart Taylor and Kevin Phillips but at least two more players are required if the team are have a chance of qualifying for Europe in 2006.
O?Leary is believed to be pursuing Sylvain Distin, the Manchester City defender, and an unnamed striker and Roy Aitken, the assistant manager, says that the battle to strengthen the squad is permanent.
?It is always nice to get back in and among it with the boys,? Aitken said. ?They have come back in good spirits and we?ve already got a few new signings. We?re looking to strengthen all the time and it?s an exciting time of the year.
?The manager is continually looking to strengthen the group and the search goes on. It?s important to try and strengthen the group and it?s good to have competition in all areas. That?s what we?re aiming for.
?They?ve already settled in well and been bright around the place. These players, along with hopefully a couple more, will strengthen the group and allow us to improve on last season.
?The people we?ve brought in so far are people we?ve been looking at for a while. The manager wanted to bring in Kevin Phillips two years ago. Aaron Hughes is a good solid defender and a great pro, who has proved himself in the Premier League, so that?s another good signing.
?Patrik Berger?s quality and pedigree speaks for itself. So, along with Stuart Taylor, who provides competition for Thomas Sorensen, I think we?ve brought some solid, quality players.
?It has been a fairly young group, with people like Whittingham, Ridgewell, Davis and Moore. So it was important that we got some good experienced players in.?