Gerard Houllier has hailed new Aston Villa captain Nigel Reo-Coker as "an example for the rest of the team" as he revealed his desire for the midfielder to stay on a long term basis.
Reo-Coker has temporarily been given the captain's armband by Houllier in the absence of Stiliyan Petrov who will be out for up to two months with knee ligament damage.
The former West Ham man is out of contract in the summer but Houllier wants him to extend his stay and talks have already taken place between Villa chief executive Paul Faulkner and his agent.
Houllier, whose side entertain Burnley in the Carling Cup tonight, said: "We will try to keep Nigel. If he wants to go elsewhere, he will go elsewhere. A contract doesn't mean a lot anyway.
"But the situation is this, he has played practically every game while I have been in charge and his performances are getting better and better.
"He plays for the team, he plays a role where you have to be extremely unselfish and work hard for the team and sometimes fill in different positions."