Ireland's Ciaran Clark challenges Austria's Philipp Hosiner during their 2014 World Cup qualifying soccer match at the Aviva stadium in Dublin

Aston Villa re-sign Ciaran Clark, Lambert’s youth movement continues

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You’ve got to hand it to Paul Lambert, the man has a plan and he’s sticking to it.

The plan is simple, secure as much youth talent as possible, whether it be through the transfer market or by re-signing players.

Today, the Villa manager added to his impressive list of deals this summer by re-signing 23 year old defender, Ciaran Clark.

In addition to Clark, here’s a list of deals that Lambert has penned so far this summer:

  • Antonio Luna: 22 year old Spanish left-back signed from Sevilla
  • Aleksandar Tonev: 22 year old Bulgarian winger signed from Lech Poznan
  • Jores Okore: 20 year old Ivorian center-back signed from FC Nordsjaelland
  • Leandro Bacuna: 21 year old Dutch midfielder signed from FC Groningen
  • Nicklas Helenius: 22 year old striker signed from Danish League side Aalborg BK
  • Jed Steer: 20 year old goal-keeper signed from Norwich City
  • Nathan Baker: 22 year old defender re-signed this summer
  • Andreas Weimann: 21 year old winger re-signed this summer

Clark’s deal is a three year contract that will see the 6’2″ center-back at Villa Park through 2016. The Republic of Ireland international, who made 29 Premier League appearances for the Villains last season scoring one goal, is thrilled with the new deal.

“From a personal point of view, I really couldn’t be more delighted or more proud,” Clark said to “It’s what every young lad dreams about, to be able to play for a club like Aston Villa.”


You can find Mike on Twitter @mprindi

Klopp to the Kop: Multiple reports say deal agreed at Liverpool

TURIN, ITALY - FEBRUARY 24:  Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp shouts to his players during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 match between Juventus and Borussia Dortmund at Juventus Arena on February 24, 2015 in Turin, Italy.  (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)
Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Jurgen Klopp is on his way to Liverpool to sign a contract naming him the next coach of the Reds.

The celebrated manager, 48, has been on “hiatus” from football since leaving Borussia Dortmund last season.

[ MORE: Messi to stand trial in Spain ]

Reports starting emerging earlier today that an agreement was imminent, and now the BBC is among those reporting that Klopp will be rolled out Friday morning.

From the BBC:

No contract has yet been signed but that is viewed as a formality when Klopp arrives in Liverpool later on Thursday. He will be officially unveiled by Liverpool on Friday morning at 10:00 BST.

There’s not much to say besides this: Klopp’s addition to the Premier League will give more color and brilliance to the country’s footballing scene. Only a certain class of manager can be instantly expected to find a better system for an inherited group of players.

This could and should be a game changer on Merseyside.

Appeal rejected! Lionel Messi will face court trial in Spain

VIGO, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 23:  Lionel Messi looks dejected after the La Liga match between Celta Vigo and FC Barcelona at Estadio Balaidos on September 23, 2015 in Vigo, Spain.  (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)
Alex Caparros/Getty Images
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It was a mere 48 hours ago that Lionel Messi looked close to in the clear when it came to tax evasion charges.

Now the question is whether a Spanish court will lock away the greatest active footballer, as a judge rejected the prosecutors’ (!!!) request to drop the charges.

[ WATCH: Hilarious spoof pegs Messi, Ronaldo as “Friends” ]

Messi and his father have already made a $5.5 million corrective payment, but there’s principle in play here. And the judge wants to know how Messi can claim he had no idea what was being done with his money.

From the BBC:

Lawyers acting on behalf of the tax authorities demanded 22-month jail sentences for both defendants.

“There are rational signs that the criminality was committed by both accused parties,” wrote the judge in a court filing, according to the AFP news agency.

Can you imagine one of the world’s richer men ending up in a Spanish prison? It’s very difficult to consider. In some ways it’s more plausible that he would buy his own island and start the “Messi Isle Premiership”.

Still, we won’t laugh off the idea, especially with FIFA apparently going down. Messi in prison. That’s something. Sepp in Switzerland. Lionel in Spain.