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Spurs on the road to nowhere

Tottenham 16 minutes ago
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By ESPN Staff
Apr 4, 2006

Villa protected by £18million Baros buy-out clause

David O'Leary has revealed Aston Villa will make 'a vast profit' if fit again leading scorer Milan Baros opts to invoke the buy-out clause in his contract.

It is understood that Villa would be entitled to ask for nearly £18million - three times as much as they paid Liverpool for his services last summer - should Baros look to leave the midlands club after only one season.

The Czech Republic striker could become hot property at the World Cup if he can reach the standards he set at Euro 2004.

But he would not be able to leave Villa on the cheap should a more attractive proposition be put before the player who has scored 10 times this season.

O'Leary said: 'I want Milan to stay but he has a selling clause in his contract.

'We don't want to sell him but, if we have to sell him, this club for the first time in a long time would be making an absolutely vast profit on a player.

'That's the way football is going. We don't want him to go but the club and the player know the figure was set when he signed.'

O'Leary would not give the exact figure any interested club would have to pay via the contract clause but he admitted: 'It is more than double what we paid for Baros but lower than £20million.'

Baros is back in full training after missing the last three Premiership games with an ankle problem and will come into contention to face West Brom at Villa Park on Sunday.

Villa assistant manager Roy Aitken is also optimistic skipper Olof Mellberg (hamstring) and midfielder Gareth Barry (knee) will be fit for the meeting with Bryan Robson's side.

Aitken said: 'Milan is back into full training. One of the reasons he wasn't involved at Arsenal is because he only had a couple of days training prior to the game.

'We felt it was best to leave him to train over the weekend and get him fitter.

'Olof is making steady progress. He had a little bit of a virus last week as well but he's back in doing some light work with the physios. We very much hope that over the next couple of days he'll be back into full training.

'It would be a major boost to have the leading goalscorer and the captain back in for the weekend. It's important we get our experienced players in the team.

'Gareth took a knock at Highbury but nothing serious. We'll give him a couple of days just to get over the knock because it was a pretty sore one on the side of the knee.'