Der Hammer ‘wants’ Villa return

Sources close to Hitzlsperger insist the Germany international is

keen to go back to the club where his career blossomed in the

Premier League. Hitzlsperger had indicated when he left Villa six

years ago that he would “one day like to return to the club” and

that remains the case now his spell at West Ham has ended. A source

close to Hitzlsperger said: “Thomas wants to go back to Villa. He

enjoyed some great times there.” Fulham, Blackburn and Stoke are

also believed to be interested in signing the 29-year-old, who has

won more than 50 full caps for his country. Hitzlsperger joined

Villa from Bayern Munich’s academy and became a firm fans’

favourite during his five years at the club. He was nicknamed ‘Der

Hammer’ by Villa supporters because of his explosive shooting power

which yielded several spectacular goals. Villa report back for

pre-season training on Friday and new manager Alex McLeish is

looking to strengthen his squad as soon as possible. Manchester

City goalkeeper Shay Given and Wigan winger Charles N’Zogbia – whom

he tried to sign when in charge of Birmingham – are amongst his

potential targets.