Frugal Martin is still looking for value at Villa as City and United splash the cash

Martin O'Neill has hit out at the 'inflated' domestic transfer  market.

The Villa manager admits he thought the days of big money deals were  gone when he returned to manage in the Premier League.

Manchester United and Manchester City proved him wrong yesterday,  but O'Neill insists he will still only look for 'value for  money' signings.

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James Milner

Big money: James Milner was Villa's record signing and O'Neill is worried about the inflated prices in the Premier League

O'Neill has spent £35million on seven players this  summer but that was dwarfed by Robinho and Dimitar Berbatov's deadline day  deals.

O'Neill spent as Monday's transfer deadline approached despite targeting West Ham's Dean Ashton, Reading's Kevin Doyle and his former Leicester  striker Emile Heskey at Wigan.

It is thought O'Neill only wanted to pay  £12million for Ashton after being quoted £15million.

Heskey could now  be a January target for Villa.

Villa had been one of the Premier  League's biggest spending clubs this summer after breaking their transfer record in a £12million deal for James Milner -  until United  and City made their moves.

'My feelings were that if nothing  materialised it was not going to be the end of the world, the transfer market  has been continuously inflated,' said O'Neill.

'If you had asked me about it  a couple of years ago, with the way it was going, I would have thought the  day of the big transfer was gone.

'But that has not proved to be the case. What you still have to do is look for value for money - and I don't have  any real problem on that score.'     

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