Lambert rules out Aston Villa switch for Owen

Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert insists he isn’t interested in signing Michael Owen as the striker continues his search for Premier League employment.

The 32-year-old is looking for a new club after being released by Manchester United and has expressed a desire to continue playing in the top-flight next season.

Owen claims to have a number of clubs chasing his signature with Everton and West Ham United all linked to the former England international.

He announced on Tuesday that he is ‘getting closer to finding a new club’ with Villa rumoured to be in the frame and ready to take a punt on the Liverpool, Real Madrid and Newcastle United frontman .

But Lambert has played down speculation linking him with a move to the Midlands indicating that the strikers name is not on his summer shopping list.

“No, that won’t happen,” he told the Birmingham Mail.

“There was no enquiry from us, I don’t know where that one came from.

“That’s a non-starter. He’s a top player, no doubt, a really top player, but that’s for another team.”

Lambert has also cooled suggestions that he would swoop for Owen’s former Newcastle teammate Andy Carroll after it was suggested they would be willing to discuss a loan deal with Liverpool.

The 23-year-old is said to be seeking an escape route from Anfield just 18-months after leaving Tyneside in a record £35 million deal but the new Villa Park chief maintains there is no substance to the claims.

He added: “There’s nothing on Andy Carroll, no.”

Meanwhile, James Collins could be sacrificed to make way for Feyenoord defender Ron Vlaar with Sunderland said to be waiting in the wings with an offer.

Black Cats boss Martin O’Neill brought Collins to Villa Park and is hoping to broker a deal for the Wales centre back who has just 12 months remaining on his contract.