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Villa looking at Dunne's fitness not new deal

Having Richard Dunne back available at full fitness is Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert's top priority rather than sorting out the defenders contract which expires in the summer. Dunne has hardly played for 12 months following a succession of injuries.

Lambert confirmed the former Manchester City player will not require further surgery on his groin but is unsure when the player will be available.

He said: "I don't know. He's been having setbacks. We will have to see what the surgeon says.

"We are still no further forward but he doesn't need another operation.

"He's got to keep battling through it. He's still a bit sore."

When asked if there was chance of Dunne earning a new contract, Lambert said: "I think first and foremost we need to get the guy back fit.

"That's the big thing for me, to get Richard back fit as quickly as we can.

"Richard Dunne will not need to prove himself. I know what he can do.

"He doesn't need to impress. He's not 19 or 20 years old. The main thing for me is that he's going to be fit again."

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Dave Williams

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