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By ESPN Staff

O'Leary denies link with Sunderland

Aston Villa manager David O'Leary has distanced himself from reports linking him with a shock move to Sunderland in the summer.

Niall Quinn, O'Leary's former Arsenal and Republic of Ireland team-mate, was reported to have targeted him if the consortium he heads up succeeds in taking control of the Black Cats.

But O'Leary is adamant he has a job to complete at Villa after a massive season of underachievement which sees them in the Premiership's bottom six.

O'Leary said: 'I don't know where these reports have come from. Niall Quinn is a friend of mine but that doesn't mean anything. I actually haven't spoken to Niall since October.

'As far as I am concerned, I have got a big job to do at Aston Villa and I want to get down to that in the summer.

'Hopefully I will be able to bring in new players and we all want to do better than this current season.'

O'Leary's own future, however, remains shrouded in doubt.

Martin O'Neill has again been linked to the midlands club as a possible successor to O'Leary if chairman Doug Ellis decides a change is needed.

O'Leary has two years left of his current contract and it would cost Ellis in the region of £2million if he decided to pull the trigger.

The Irishman has been frustrated by the lack of finance available and he has been told to adopt a 'sell to buy' policy in the summer.

But he is determined not to walk out on Villa after three years and wants to be the person to lead them back to previous glories.