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

He told the club website: "I spoke to Martin and told him I'd be sitting down with his agent.

"I'd like to see Olof stay here longer, but when you get to a certain age, you maybe look at other things."

O'Neill wants to keep the centre-back but will not stand in his way if he wants to leave.

"All I'd say is Olof's commitment to Villa over a number of years is beyond question and from that viewpoint, I'm relatively comfortable in terms of that," he explained.

"If Olof didn't sign by January and had nothing in the pipeline, I'd still be hoping we'd come to some sort of agreement."