Writer: J P Fear
Date:Thursday June 14 2007
The Birmingham Mail claim that Martin O'Neill is once again looking at Manchester United striker Alan Smith after being alerted to the fact the Old Trafford club aren't offering him a new deal.
Vital Villa covered this last month with the England striker apparently willing to see out the remaining two years of his contract in a bid to fight for his place.
However after comments by Alan Smith The Mail say 26-year-old would be interested in Villa if United decide to sell him. With Louis Saha out until January with an injury, it seems unlikely they will look to offload him though surely? As always, the likes of Everton, Tottenham and Newcastle are also linked.
The Mail quote his agent Alex Black after Smith pleaded with the Reds to 'tell me where I stand'.
'It is not really for us to look at other clubs. There was a clause relating to an extension to Alan's contract which 12 months ago, when he was injured, they decided not to take up. You would obviously therefore have question marks in your head as to where that would leave you. Alan's opinion is that, okay, he has not been offered a new contract but he still has two years left at arguably the biggest club in the world.'
'He has every confidence in himself to stay and fight. I am sure United would love to bring in other players, that's part and parcel of being at a big club.' Adding that no player can expect guarantees of a first team place but: 'It is a more of a case that if you know that you are definitely not wanted, then you need to be told that. Alan has gone on holiday for a few weeks and these are the sorts of conversations that probably need to take place face-to-face.'
'At the moment Alan's plan is to go away and relax and try to put football to the back of his mind. Then he'll come back and I'm sure that he and Sir Alex will have a chat at the start of pre-season.'
Last time we asked a poll about whether you'd like Alan Smith at Villa Park was last November, the results were:
Yes but there are better options (41%)
Yes, exactly what we need (34%)
He'd be ok, but only ok (15%)
Hey, its quiet, might as well ask the same question again!
Date:Thursday June 14 2007
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