Bannan hopeful of new deal
Aston Villa midfielder Barry Bannan is eager to commit his long-term future to the Premier League club. Bannan, 19, has one year remaining on his current contract and is highly regarded by manager Martin O'Neill, but has been linked with a move to Wigan Athletic. He made his debut in the Uefa Cup clash in Hamburg last December and gained valuable experience during a loan spell with Derby County. The Scot said: "I've got a year left of my current contract so hopefully I've done enough to prove to the manager that I've earned a new contract. "It's up to him, but if I get one I'll sign it straight away because I love this club. They've been brilliant for me since I've been here." Bannan admitted O'Neill's willingness to give youth a chance is a big factor in his desire to remain with Villa. He said: "The aim now is to push on even further next season. It's been hard to break through, because of how well the team has done recently. "But the manager has shown he is ready to give young players a chance if they're good enough."
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