Houllier relaxed over Young situation
Aston Villa manager Gerard Houllier is "quite happy" for winger Ashley Young to delay talks over a new contract until next summer. The Frenchman is conscious of Young "needing to know about the ambition of the club" before deciding on his future. Young had intimated earlier this month that he was ready to commit his future to Villa, while Houllier was confident a contract would be signed "sooner rather than later". But the player has announced that he wanted to concentrate on his football and any talks over a potential new deal would not happen until the end of the campaign. The England international will then have only 12 months remaining of the four-year deal he signed in 2008. Houllier, whose side visit Sunderland on Saturday, said: "I am quite happy with what Ashley has said. "He loves the fans here, he enjoys his football and, since I've come here, he very much enjoys the way he is progressing. "I am quite happy with what he has said, that he wants to concentrate on his football and talk about it (his contract) at the end of the season. "At the end of the day he is not in the same situation as Wayne Rooney was because he re-signed a contract two years ago so it is a bit different. "I am happy. He looks happy. He is fine. He enjoys his football and you know when you are not happy, you don't improve. "All I can see is he is a major part of our team but also a major part of our atmosphere and is lively and jovial. We like that, the way he behaves." But Houllier admitted: "A lot of things can happen, I can understand that. "I've been here just over a month. Maybe he needs to know more. "He needs to know about the ambition of the club but he knows he is a key part of our future and that's it." Houllier insists his target is to make Young into a proven international player with England. He made his full competitive debut in the Euro 2012 qualifier with Montenegro at Wembley 10 days ago. Houllier said: "I've always said he is not a proven international player but I want him to step up and I think he can do that and be a regular international player. "There is a different level between the Premier League and international football. "He is on the fringe of the national team and I would like him to be one of the regular starters for the national team. "For that he needs to improve a few aspects of his game, which he is very focused on. That is good. "All I know is the target is to get him to another level, to make him progress and improve and he has got all the attributes for that. "He is a clever player, he has the desire to win, he works hard, makes goals and scores goals and he is a very good team player. A star player must be a team player - a star team player."
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