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Ashley Young Stalls Contract Negotiations

After previously stating that he was keen to extend his contract at Aston Villa, winger, Ashley Young has halted proceedings preferring to discuss terms at the end of the season. The retraction of interest will worry Villa fans as undoubtedly one of their key men has drawn interest from a number of high profile clubs in the past. After the Milner transfer saga many feared that Young would follow the midfielder out the exit door due to the departure of ex-manager and the man who signed the 25-year0old, Martin O’Neill. Fans would have been delighted to see Young express his happiness at the club following the arrival of Gerard Houllier and a deal looked closed to completion last week. Now the player appears keen to focus on playing but even the most optimistic Villa fan may see ulterior motives in the attacker’s decision.

In the past Young has been touted to moves to the majority of the top 4 having impressed since moving from Watford in 2007. The £10m fee surprised most but Young was soon proving any doubters wrong claiming the 2008/09 PFA Young Player of the Year as well as appearing in the Team of the Year. A move to Spurs and back to his hometown of London had looked likely after Harry Redknapp had expressed an interest. The move failed to materialise and Young has began the season brightly scoring 3 times in all competitions and earning his first international start in the process. It now appears that the player is reluctant to commit his future to the club with interest still set to be rife in Ashley in the upcoming transfer windows. Young has refuted suggestions of any unsettledness at the club and said that he just wanted to concentrate on playing for now.

“I’ve told the people at Villa that I won’t be signing a new contract at the moment, I know they want to get it done now but my current deal still has a year to run after this season and I feel there is plenty of time to talk next summer.”

“I want to stress that I have no problem with Aston Villa.  I love the fans and I’m very much enjoying my football. I want to concentrate on what’s happening on the field and don’t want to get distracted. It’s a big season for me and I’m hopeful there are good times ahead under the new manager.”

Nothing to worry about too much from what the player is saying but allowing his contract to run into a final year is a lesson Villa should have learned from by now. Gareth Barry joined City in a massively cut-price deal with the realisation being that the club could not afford to lose him on a free the following season. If the same were to happen with Young it would be a huge blow to the club trying to dispel the ‘selling club’ claims.

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