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By ESPN Staff

O'Neill considers Hendrie's future at Villa Park

Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill will 'monitor the next couple of weeks' before making a decision on the future of midfielder Lee Hendrie.

Hendrie is back at Villa after a successful three-month loan spell at Stoke whose manager Tony Pulis is keen to regain the services of the 29-year-old.

He was a non-playing substitute for Saturday's Barclays Premiership clash with Manchester United at Old Trafford and has spoken of his desire to fight for a place in the Villa side.

But O'Neill would be reluctant to hold back Hendrie if there was an opportunity for him to play regular football.

Hendrie appears to be well down the pecking order at Villa following the emergence of the likes of Gabriel Agbonlahor, Isaiah Osbourne and Craig Gardner from the club's Academy during the current campaign.

Last season he was kept out of the team by on-loan Newcastle player James Milner.

O'Neill said: 'Lee is back here at this minute. We haven't that many choices at this moment but he has got a chance and we will see where we go.

'We had talks and it was to tell him that we will see now if he gets a chance to play.

'Lee has got a run of games now under his belt at Stoke, feels fit enough to play and is getting an opportunity to do so. It is for him to try and take it.

'But now he has got the fitness and got enthusiasm back, I wouldn't want to be holding him back either just for the sake of it but we will monitor the next couple of weeks.'

O'Neill is desperate to strengthen his squad during the January transfer window and Villa are one of several clubs who have made a bid for Watford striker Ashley Young.

But hopes in that direction appear to be floundering with the player reported to be more keen on joining Tottenham if Watford agree to sell their prized asset.