O'Neill aims to keep pair

04 January 2008 07:25
Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill is desperate to keep soon to be out-of-contract defensive duo Martin Laursen and Olof Mellberg at the club. Laursen and Mellberg are both free to discuss potential free transfer moves to other clubs as their contracts expire at the end of the current season. Neither defender claims he wants to leave Villa Park and O'Neill is hoping a fresh round of talks with both in the coming weeks can resolve the situation. Laursen has become a vital part of O'Neill's Villa side after battling with knee injuries during the early part of his career with the club. Meanwhile, Mellberg, who has been linked with Juventus, has proved a versatile defensive option at right-back. "I've spoken to Martin Laursen's agent and we're in the throes of putting some sort of proposals together," revealed O'Neill. "We're listening and we're talking now. We desperately and definitely want to keep him. "As for Olof, we're trying to do all we can. Olof's point is he has been at this club for seven years and this is an important contract for him. "But his contribution here this season at right-back has been terrific and I could have asked no more of him."

Source: ESA