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Is a title challenge possible for Man Utd?

Manchester United
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Dunne looks set for Villa exit

Defender Richard Dunne's Aston Villa career appears to be over after he was ruled out of making a comeback this season.

The Republic of Ireland international has not figured for manager Paul Lambert's side in the Premier League this season because of a groin injury suffered while on Euro 2012 duty.

Lambert said the problem will not heal in time for the 33-year-old to play any part in the rest of the season and, with his contract set to expire in June, Dunne looks to have played his last game for the club.

"It's unlikely Richard will be able to play any part in the remaining games because of the injury he's had," Lambert said.

"He's doing a lot better, but we will just have to wait and see about his own career. We will see at the end of the season where we are."

Villa owner Randy Lerner is eager to press ahead with reducing the club's wage bill and, with Dunne among the club's highest earners, is unlikely to sanction a new deal for him.

Dunne is one of the longest-serving members of the squad, and it now seems likely that he will be allowed to leave on a free transfer.

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