Villa boss O'Neill aware of Juventus link for Mellberg

Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill remains hopeful of securing Olof Mellberg to a new contract.

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Mellberg, whose current deal runs out next summer, is reported in the Italian media to be ready to sign a pre-contract with Juventus.

But he has not told Villa boss O'Neill that he is close to ending his seven-year association with the midlands club.

He said: "I don't know if there is anything in the Juventus link and Olof will tell me in his own time if that is the case. Players are free to make decisions here.

"This is an important contract for Olof. He has been here seven years and, in term of the commitment he has given since I've been here, I couldn't ask any more.

"He has played out of position for most of this season at right-back and just got on with it. He might think a lot of things. He might think that seven years is a long time at one club in this day and age.

"But I will still think, if we can come up with something which is reasonably suitable, that he might stay at Villa. But if he chooses to go, all he has to do is just let me know.

"We have been to-ing and fro-ing and I can understand this is an important decision for him. You have to look at a few things and it is likewise for players."

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