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Villa Prepared to Let Young Contract Run

It appears that Villa are looking to buck the trend of having to sell their best players by simply letting their contracts run out instead. Star man Ashley Young has been linked with many of England’s bigger boys for many years now but things looked up for Villa earlier in the year after Young revealed he was happy at the club and was interested in extending his current deal. Young is the club’s highest wage earner and was set to sign a new long-term deal before changing his mind in order to ‘focus on playing football’ (not good footballing noises)! A move back to his hometown of London was the main link in the summer with Tottenham thought to be keen. A decent start to the season has seen the likes of Liverpool and Manchester United renew interests which led Houllier to set a farcical £80m price tag on the 25-year-old.

Young’s current deal expires in 18 months and the club face another Barry/Milner situation wherein their best player is reportedly not interested in extending his contract. In the past the board have looked to cash in on such assets with Barry and Milner both leaving for Manchester City, a club who shockingly haven’t really been accredited with an interest this time around. After such dealings led to the resignation of Martin O’Neill in the summer and the criticism of fans and pundits alike, it seems that Lerner is determined to hang on to the club’s prized asset. It has been reported that Villa are not willing to sell Young in January and are certainly not prepared to let him go for a cut-price in the summer having spent £10m on the ex-Watford man four years ago. This would mean that if Ashley decides not to sign a new deal this year then he would be allowed to leave the club on a free in the summer of 2012, a scenario which the Villa management see as more valuable to the team then relinquishing any of the ‘£80m’ price tag. Oh dear is all I can say, sinking feeling returning, got to sort out this de ja vu!

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