Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert hopes striker Andreas Weimann will commit his long-term future to the club after confirming talks have opened about a new contract.
Weimann has been one of the few plus points in a dismal season to date for Villa and he is their second top scorer with nine goals behind Christian Benteke. The Austrian international still has 18 months to run on the deal he signed in August 2011 but Villa hope he will remain as part of the rebuilding process under Lambert.
Lambert said: "For the long term it would be great (if Weimann signs a new contract). I know the club and Andreas are talking at the moment so we'll see what happens there."
Lambert added: "He has played really well and his goalscoring this season has been excellent. He is without doubt a natural finisher and he's done really really fine."
Lambert has defended his decision not to consider full-backs Stephen Warnock and Alan Hutton with the latter set to complete a loan move to Real Mallorca on Tuesday subject to a medical.
The duo have not featured at all in the first team this season with Warnock having a loan spell at Bolton and Hutton spending time with Nottingham Forest.
Lambert said: "I made the decision. The club needed to be rebuilt in some way. It's a decision I made and it's one I go with.
"It's not being stubborn. I just know the remit of the of job. I've got to do what I believe is right."
Mallorca will have the option to agree a permanent deal for Hutton, signed from Tottenham for £3 million 18 months ago.
Lambert also confirmed interest in former England defender Warnock from West Ham.