Aston Villa news

Villa to wait for Young talks

February 11, 2011

Aston Villa boss Gerard Houllier will stick to the original plan to hold talks with England goal hero Ashley Young over his future in the summer.

Ashley Young
PA PhotosAshley Young is a man in demand

Young was the target of speculation last month linking him with a move to the two Manchester clubs, Liverpool and Tottenham. He gave further evidence of his ability with the winner for England in the midweek win over Denmark and operated effectively as the support striker behind Villa team-mate Darren Bent.

But Houllier will respect Young's wishes to put any meetings to one side until the summer. The former Watford player, who joined Villa four years ago, has 18 months remaining of his current contract.

Houllier said: "Ashley said he would talk about that (his future) at the end of the season and we will respect that. The chairman (Randy Lerner), Paul Faulkner (chief executive) and myself said we would respect that. We will talk about that later on. He has got another year on his contract anyway.

"We know that some clubs could be interested in him - but he could also be interested by Aston Villa. The main thing is he has to focus on his game, and the games for Aston Villa until the end of the season.''

Houllier was happy at the performance of Young in the role that has been filled by Wayne Rooney for his country.

He said: "I was pleased to see him take his goal because I think he needed that. There is a lot of competition in that role and Fabio Capello wanted to see different options. But I was pleased to see him play that position, particularly behind Darren.''

Houllier will come face to face with Blackpool boss Ian Holloway in tomorrow's clash at Bloomfield Road for the first time since their public spat over Charlie Adam. The former Liverpool boss insists he bears no grudges over Holloway's comments that he made the interest in Adam public.

Houllier said: "I took on board the gracious words he said yesterday and it is water under the bridge. Where he is wrong is when he said we made it (the Adam interest) public. We never made it public on our side.

"It came from their side but it is finished now and we have taken other players and we are happy with the squad and that's it. All I can say is, Ian should have checked. Anyway, I will be happy to see him. He is doing a great job there and encourages his teams to play offensive football and I like that.''

Striker Gabriel Agbonlahor will be available after withdrawing from the England squad for family reasons. On-loan midfielder Michael Bradley is available after obtaining a visa while Jean Makoun has shaken off a calf injury.