Gardner coy on loan link
Craig Gardner has failed to rule out leaving Aston Villa on loan this summer, despite Gareth Barry's departure. The 22-year-old is among those set to profit in Martin O'Neill's side from more playing time following Barry's lucrative move to Manchester City. However, that has not stopped speculation surrounding the midfielder's short-term future, with both Wigan and newly-promoted Birmingham linked with loan moves. While Gardner has expressed his happiness at Villa Park, he has not ruled out leaving on loan in search of regular first team football. "We will see what happens," he told Birmingham Mail. "I'm happy at the club." Growing reputation Gardner enhanced his growing reputation earlier this week with a competent performance in England Under 21s' emphatic 7-0 success over Azerbaijan. The midfielder, a product of Villa's youth system, has been tipped to fill Barry's shoes at the club - a task he feels he is more than capable of achieving. "I love playing football and I love playing in midfield so hopefully the manager has seen this game and it's reminded him what I'm about," he said of his Under 21s performance. "It's nice to hear that some of the fans think I might be able to step into Gareth's shoes and hopefully it happens."
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