Aston Villa have offered Gary Gardner a contract extension. If that doesn't sound like big news to you, take a second and think about the implications: this means that Villa will indeed have some funds with which to work even before Randy Lerner finds a buyer for the club. The actual news here, that Gardner may return with Villa, isn't all that exciting on its own. Gardner is a perennial prospect who never seems to be able to consistently make the first team thanks to injury problems. If fit, he could fill a potential need for Villa to have some better midfield players, but it's crazy to expect him to do too much.
But the secondary issue–that Villa are offering contracts–is huge news. We've heard that the funds would be available but thus far we had not seen much evidence of it. If Gardner is being offered an extension, there is hope that one might be in the wings for Marc Albrighton as well. And if there is money for contracts, there may be funds for transfers as well. Gardner will be deciding his response to the offer soon, but if he says no his current contract expires this summer. It's hard to see him going elsewhere.
But the big thing is that we can all breathe out now. This club won't be entirely bereft of funds this summer.