Villa's Maloney must take pay-cut for Celtic return

Aston Villa attacker Shaun Maloney must accept a massive pay-cut if he is to make a return to Celtic in January.

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The Scotland international turned his back on a new deal in Glasgow last January, choosing instead to join Martin O'Neill's Aston Villa in the Premiership.

Now Gordon Strachan is prepared to welcome homesick Maloney back but it is believed the 24-year-old would have to agree to the personal terms originally put to him 11 months ago.

Maloney failed to make even the bench recently when Villa won at Blackburn but came on as a substitute in last weekend's home defeat by league leaders Arsenal.

He is under contract in England until summer 2010 on a deal expected to earn him a basic £20,000 per week, with added appearance bonuses.

Strachan is keen to work with the forward again to give Celtic even more creativity but the deal could now depend on whether the player is willing to accept a wage drop in the region of £200,000 a year.

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