English League 1

Blackwell: Bury future bright

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Wed, 05 Jun 2013 11:18:00

Younes Belhanda has reiterated that his first choice is to move to the Premier League following reports Aston Villa had made a bid for the Montpellier playmaker.

Montpellier chairman Louis Nicollin claimed on Tuesday that Villa are one of five clubs to have made an offer for the Morocco international.

AC Milan, city rivals Inter, Atletico Madrid and Galatasaray are also reported to have lodged bids in the region of ?14million (?11.9m) for Belhanda.

Arsenal and Tottenham have been linked with the 23-year-old in the past, but now Villa appear to have stepped in with an interest.

Belhanda has been given permission by Montpellier to decide where he wants to go and he acknowledged that Villa are a club with a 'big history'.

"I am definitely aware that there are five clubs with serious interest in me," said Belhanda. "The president told me how much I will cost for any team that wants me.

"I have told everyone that England will be my first choice.

"Aston Villa is a great club with a big history playing in the best league in the world, so let's see what will happen."

The cash-strapped Shakers, relegated to League Two last season, were on the brink of closure after revealing they needed to raise ?1million to survive but were finally taken over by new chairman Stewart Day at the end of last month.

In their first week at the club, the new powers that be have wasted little time in painting a much brighter future and Blackwell now boasts genuine hope as he looks to play his part in reviving Bury's fortunes over a stable long term.

"It's been a week since the new chairman and his team came in and you can see the changes around the place. There is a real buzz about the club," Blackwell told Bury's official website.

"They have some really good ideas and the one thing they want to do is to stop this boom and bust scenario. They want stability and the fans want stability. We don't want to be going through this every 10 years. It's been up and down all the time.

"They want stability and they want to put things in place. There will be things in place that the fans will see when they come to the ground, they will see the changes. It's a whole new breath of fresh air, it's a clean sweep.

"It's just a professional approach, the very thing that I have been on about and I know I have got on peoples nerves.

"I don't see why we keep on thinking that it's only small Bury. I don't want that mentality, I want the mentality to be big, bright Bury. If we don't quite reach the stars, I don't want people to say that it's just little old Bury. The chairman wants that thought process eradicating."

Blackwell added: "I don't think the fans really realise just how close this club came to not being here. It was days away from closing. It wasn't administration, it would have closed.

"That stunned me, I didn't realise how close it was. I knew administration was very close, not the fact that we couldn't even afford to go into administration. The winding-up order surprised and shocked me."

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