Ashley Young will stay at Aston Villa, insists Gérard Houllier

Villa manager rules out selling winger in January and hints 25-year-old may be forced to see out his contract

Kieran Beckles
By Kieran Beckles
ashley young
(Photo: Dagur Brynjólfsson)

ashley young

Manager Gérard Houllier insists Aston Villa will retain the services of Ashley Young despite interest from a number of Premier League clubs.

Young, who joined Villa from Watford for £9.7m in 2007, has 18 months remaining on his current deal at Villa Park but talks over a contract extension stalled in October leading to inevitable speculation over his future.

The England international pulled out of signing the new four-year deal, which would have given him an annual pay rise of £500,000, at the last minute, but despite interest from Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham Houllier insists the 25-year-old is not for sale.

“Ashley won’t go in January,” said Houllier. “We are hoping we can keep him [in the long-term]. The club’s will is to keep him.”

Houiller is no stranger to such contract drama. The former Liverpool manager famously allowed Steve McManaman to leave Anfield under the Bosman ruling and sign a pre-contract agreement with Real Madrid in January 1999. Despite losing out on a transfer fee which could have been worth a potential £12.5m, Houiller stands by his decision to allow the player to run down his contract.

“It would be brave to hang on to him but I’m brave and I think Mr Lerner is too,” he said. “I think it would be good to keep him.

“Steve McManaman went to Real Madrid, we [Liverpool] decided to keep him, but the offer he got was too big. He was fantastic in that remaining time. Sometimes it pays to hang on to players because you think you will finish in a better position.”


MORE: The latest football transfer news

MORE: Meet the Premier League's most stylish footballers

MORE: Do you know the top Muslim footballers in the Premier League?

MORE: Take a tour of Arsenal star Mesut Ozil’s £10m London house

MORE: Man United latest news

MORE: Arsenal latest news

MORE: Chelsea latest news

MORE: Liverpool latest news

The Sport Review
Cream has risen to the top, as Marin Cilic and Novak Djokovic set Queen’s final clash
The Sport Review
10 goalkeepers Liverpool FC could sign in summer transfer window
The Sport Review
Arsenal transfers: 10 targets Gunners could sign for defence in summer
The Sport Review
Take a tour of Cristiano Ronaldo’s stunning house in Madrid
The Sport Review
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
The Sport Review
10 players Chelsea could sign in the 2018 summer transfer window
The Sport Review
Roy Keane instructs Man United how to get best out of Paul Pogba
The Sport Review
Insider dampens Arsenal’s hopes of signing Argentina star
The Sport Review
Olivier Giroud reacts to controversial Unai Emery Arsenal decision