With owner Randy Lerner having put Aston Villa up for sale, it is likely to be a summer of change one way or another at Villa Park. The American announced after another campaign undermined by fears of relegation that he has made moves towards selling the club, leaving manager Paul Lambert in dire straits heading into the summer.

Given the complexities of completing takeovers, who knows what time or resources will be devoted to Lambert's plans in the summer transfer window or if the Glaswegian will even be part of Villa's future as the club continue to hurtle towards the bottom three.

Business so far

Four players have been released without signing new contracts. Marc Albrighton is the highest profile of those exits, while former England protégé Nathan Delfouneso also leaves. Aidan Grant and Andras Stieber make up the other departures. Gary Gardner has signed a new two-year deal with Villa after a loan spell at Sheffield Wednesday.

What they need

Where to start? Only Hull City scored fewer goals of the teams outside the bottom three and the Villains missed Christian Benteke after his achilles injury in April. Bar captain Ron Vlaar, the Villa defence is hopelessly low on quality while going forward there is a distinct lack of depth to support an otherwise fresh-looking front-line.

Who could join

Joleon Lescott, released by Manchester City, has been linked with a move to the Midlands as has Manchester United forward Javier Hernandez. Serge Aurier and Josip Radosevic are among the other more farfetched targets. Uncertainty over transfer funds and the future of Lambert means rumours are few and far between.

Who could leave

With the future of Villa up in the air, Newcastle United are among the club's rumoured to be looking to take advantage. Alan Pardew's men have been mentioned with an interest in out-of-favour striker Darren Bent, fellow-forward Andreas Weimann and midfielder Fabian Delph. Bayern Munich are also interested in 16 year old Easah Suliman. Injury to Benteke, which sees him miss the World Cup for Belgium, could ensure he stays another season.

What the manager has said

"I think a football club of this size needs that calibre of player," Lambert said. "I'm not just talking about those three lads because it would be wrong for me to talk about them but we need that level of player for the size of this club, wherever they come from.

"This club needs big players. It's not acceptable for this club to keep doing this, it's been four years of battling against relegation. It's too big a football club to do this. That's the reality. I think everybody knows that."