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
Roy Keane: What I really think about Paul Pogba at Man United
The Sport Review
Top 50 most stylish footballers in the world in 2017: Arsenal, Man United, Chelsea, Liverpool stars feature
The Sport Review
Take a tour of Arsenal star Mesut Ozil’s £10m London house with us
The Sport Review
Top 40 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Man United stars feature
The Sport Review
Top 25 footballers’ cars: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Real Madrid players feature
The Sport Review
Take a tour of Cristiano Ronaldo’s stunning house in Madrid
The Sport Review
Mark Lawrenson predicts where Man United will finish this season
Dubai 2018
The Sport Review
Dubai 2018: Svitolina brings end to bold Kasatkina’s run to defend title
The Sport Review
Jamie Redknapp talks up Eden Hazard partnership with Chelsea FC signing