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Schalke standing firm on Goretzka

By ESPN Staff

O'Neill planning deadline day deals for Villa

Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill has hinted he may still make a last-ditch foray into the transfer market after signing Celtic midfielder Stilian Petrov in an £8million deal.

O'Neill is believed to be interested in out-of-favour Barcelona striker Javier Saviola, with the 24-year-old a free agent next summer and his Spanish club keen to off-load the Argentina international.

The Villa boss is also contemplating giving a short-term deal to ex-Celtic defender Didier Agathe, who has been training at Bodymoor Heath for the past eight days.

O'Neill said: 'We are working on a number of things. You never know, there might be a bit of movement between now and the closure of the transfer window.'

Petrov will become Villa's second most expensive signing - after the £9.5million capture of Juan Pablo Angel - if the initial fee of £6.5million rises by a further £1.5million in add-ons.

O'Neill has been tracking Petrov since he replaced David O'Leary as manager nearly a month ago. He brought the best out of the Bulgaria international during his five years in charge at Parkhead.

The Villa boss said: 'I think Stilian will help us because he is a very good player. I've known him for quite some time and I think he is athletic, young and can also score some goals for us.

'I think his best years are ahead of him at 27-years-old. He's the right age but he's also got plenty of experience behind him.

'He's got that winning mentality from his years at Celtic but I think he had that anyway. I am delighted that we've been able to sign him.'

Petrov spent seven years with Celtic after a £3million move from CSKA Sofia in 1999 but put in a transfer request at the end of last season despite having four years remaining on his contract.

Portsmouth were also interested in signing Petrov but their manager Harry Redknapp conceded on Monday that Villa had won the race for his signature.

Meanwhile, Villa striker Luke Moore is to delay surgery on his long-term shoulder problem as he strives to cement a regular spot in the side.

Moore has impressed after starting the first three games of the season and scored the opening goal in Sunday's 2-0 win over Newcastle.