Hendrie to leave Villa, attracts promoted duo

May 24, 2006

Long-serving midfielder Lee Hendrie is resigned to a future away from Aston Villa after claiming he was being pushed out.

The 28-year-old is understood to be attracting interest from Portsmouth and the newly-promoted duo of Watford and Sheffield United.

But hopes of a move abroad to to Ajax have faded after the sacking of coach Danny Blind.

Villa are likely to want around £500,000 for Hendrie who has only one year remaining of his current contract.

Hendrie, who started as a schoolboy with Villa, said: 'I've been close a couple of times to leaving Villa in the past but nothing ever happened, but it just looks like this time I will definitely be going.

'We have spoken to a couple of clubs but nothing has really been followed up. I don't want to leave. I've said that time and again but I feel as if I am being pushed out.

'I didn't play much last season. I found myself at times having the young lads playing ahead of me and that was a sign that maybe my days were numbered at Villa.

'This club means a lot to me but I can't really have another season where I play only a handful of games. I didn't start a game at Villa Park until the new year and at this stage of my career I need to be playing regularly.'

Villa manager David O'Leary initially managed to get the best out of Hendrie who has admitted he would have left the club three years ago had Graham Taylor remained as manager.

But he made only seven Barclays Premiership starts in 2005-2006 because of the fine form of on-loan Newcastle midfielder James Milner, but even youngsters like Craig Gardner moved above Hendrie in the pecking order.