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By ESPN Staff

Leeds document was not a contract - O'Neill

Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill has admitted to signing a conditional statement of intent to join Leeds four years ago - but insists nothing legally-binding was put in place.

Former Leeds chairman Peter Ridsdale revealed the story in a serialisation of his autobiography, United We Fall, but O'Neill said he only entered talks with Ridsdale because he did not believe his employers Celtic were going to offer him a new deal.

O'Neill said: 'The letter was full of conditions which I found out later hadn't been true.

'Peter told me that Terry Venables, who was manager at the time, was thinking of leaving. I spoke to Terry and found out he was not thinking of leaving.

'There was nothing underhand, Celtic knew what I was doing every step of the way.

'I didn't want to leave Celtic but I was in the last six months of a three-year contract and no-one had spoken to me about another one.

'I was disappointed with that.'

Speaking about the content of the document he signed, O'Neill added: 'I signed some statement of intent on the understanding of quite a number of conditions.

'It was not a contract as such, how could I have signed a legally-binding agreement with Leeds and then agreed a new contract with Celtic?'