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Villa boss O'Neill ready for talks with Shorey, Young

Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill is ready for talks today with Reading fullback Nicky Shorey and Middlesbrough's Luke Young.

O'Neill told "Strengthening the squad has obviously been in our minds for quite some considerable time.

"We have agreed a fee with Reading for Nicky Shorey -a quality natural left-back who played for England 18 months ago. As we speak he will be coming up for a medical and hopefully we can agree terms.

"The right-back position caused a few problems for us last season in terms of us not having a natural right-back. Now we've also agreed a fee with Middlesbrough for Luke Young. So hopefully there won't be any major problems and those two deals can go through."

The Villa boss added: "Luke is a natural right-back and played for England not so long ago. He did very well for Boro last season and this is a great opportunity for him.

"Obviously the injury to Freddie has left a gaping hole on the left. Freddie had a wonderful season for us last year and this wasn't necessarily a priority for us before the injury.

"But Nicky Shorey is more than a back-up. He's a quality player on the ball and is up for the challenge."

O'Neill's efforts to bolster the squad for the season ahead will continue and he concluded: "Between now and August 31 we need a squad capable of handling all the games ahead."

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