Date:Saturday August 7 2010
Contracts need sorting now!!
It has happened to us this summer for the second time; one of our stars has been linked to a Premier League rival when he has 2 years remaining on his contract.
Gareth Barry was linked with Liverpool when he had 2 years left on his deal. But before interest from Liverpool Gareth Barry seemed keen to sign a new deal at Aston Villa but talks were put off by the club as they said they would 'sort out contract negotiations once the season was out of the way.'
This may have seemed clever at the time, not letting one of our stars get distracted from playing because of worrying about contract negotiations, but at the same time it was our biggest mistake. Liverpool made an offer before we spoke to Gareth about a new deal meaning that we had a choice; sell Gareth for £18M or keep him one more season and sell him on the cheap the following year when he has 1 year remaining on his contract (which we did).
Now the exact same thing is happening with James Milner because Villa have not learnt from their mistake in the past! Milner has 2 years left on a 4 year deal that he signed when he joined the club. MON was keen to tie him to a longer deal but agreed with Milner that 'it would be best to hold off contract talks until after the World Cup'. (That was a big mistake!!!) We were left in the same situation, Man City make an offer before we offer Milner a new deal and suddenly we're in the same problem; take Man City's offer or sell him on the cheap next summer when his deal has just 1 year remaining.
So surely now with our remaining stars we want to keep them, so surely we should be tying them all to long-term deals now. Ashley Young, Gabby Agbonlahor, Curtis Davies, Carlos Cuellar, Marc Albrighton and Nathan Delfouneso are all either current stars or look to be the stars of Villa's and England's future (apart from Cuellar).
With Agbonlahor reported to have started contract talks, Curtis Davies wanting a new deal, Ashley Young he wants to sign a new deal and the bright futures of Marc and the Fonz, surely all of these players should be offered contracts keeping them at the club for the next 5 years!
Why are we waiting?
I'd hate to see Ash or Gabby get caught up in a transfer saga exactly the same as Jam£s Miln£r and Gar£th Barry. Surely as soon as this transfer window closes we need to start dishing out new deals before the January window opens and Man City come back in for someone like Ashley Young! We need to keep all of our remaining stars, tying down the likes of Downing, Delph and Dunne would also be a good idea too. All have 3 years left on their contracts but it would be an idea to extend those deals now.
We've seen what happened with Milner, in the same situation that Downing is now contract wise and position in the England recognising; but if he has a good season this year then suddenly next summer he will only have 2 years left on his deal and clubs will start to make offers. If players can't be loyal to their club once a big money offer is made then why not extend the deals now before they get a chance to leave and prevent problems occurring next summer. That way if Man City still want Ashley Young then they would have to pay a lot more than £30M because he would have 4/5 years left on his deal! I think it's time we got these new contracts sorted and tied our stars down to the club before it's too late!
Date:Saturday August 7 2010
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