Aston Villa goalkeeper Brad Friedel will be 40 come the end of the season when his contract is set to expire but despite his age, his agent has claimed that he is a wanted man throughout Europe and has plenty of options open to him if Gerard Houllier decides against renewing the veteran’s contract. The Frenchman has consistently stated that he is looking to discuss the issue with the American in the coming months as he looks for assurances that Friedel’s age is not catching up with him. I believe it would be a mistake to let him go in the summer, we definitely need a new goalkeeper come August, ready to step into Brad’s shoes, but the 39-year-old has continued to prove the ageists wrong with a number of fantastic displays and stops. In my opinion it’s all too easy to blame performances and errors like the ones against Fulham on his age, when just days before he was tremendous upon becoming Villa’s oldest ever player against United. With his immense experience in these league in particular I feel he will make a great coach in the future and I’m sure that may be an option Houllier has considered. However, if the Villa boss doesn’t tie Friedel down to a new deal soon, his agent Tony McGill has confirmed the keeper has no qualms in searching for first team football elsewhere.
“We are obviously not waiting until the end of the season to discuss Brad’s future and I have held talks with a number of clubs.
“The interest is widespread and it is not a major shock given Brad’s experience and his continuing high-level of performance week-in, week-out in the Premier League.
“Brad has not made any decisions about what he wants to do, so I would say we are not ruling anything out at this stage.”
“As I said, we are not saying ‘no’ to anybody, and we are not going to rule Villa out of the equation.”
“Villa more than anyone have seen how reliable Brad is and how his fitness levels are quite extraordinary.
“I have no doubts that Brad still has a number of years left at the top-level of the game, and judging by the interest in him thus far I am not alone in having that opinion.”
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