Martin O'Neill has urged his Manchester City counterpart Sven Goran Eriksson to refrain from commenting on Aston Villa's players.

It has been suggested that Eriksson has urged Italian side Juventus to move for Villa defender Olof Mellberg in the January transfer window.

"Recommending Olof to another club is surprising," said O'Neill. "Maybe I should recommend some of his Manchester City players to Barcelona or Manchester United and see how he likes it.

"Olof has shown a fantastic attitude for us this season and of course I would like to keep all our best players.

"I was really surprised with what Sven has said because it's out of character for him to be speaking like that.

"I'm not sure he should be saying things like that about our player unless he is aiming to take him for his club."