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O'Neill expects Young to sign new contract

Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill is confident winger Ashley Young will join midfielder Craig Gardner in signing a new long-term contract "sooner rather than later". Young has impressed since moving from Watford to Villa Park during the January 2007 transfer window in a £9.65million switch.

But O'Neill is keen to reward the player for his outstanding performances for Villa which saw him force his way into the England squad last season.

The former Celtic boss said: "Will Young sign a new contract? It is just a matter of getting sat down after this (international) break. I think it will happen sooner rather than later.

"Everyone knows what I think of Ashley. He has been fantastic for us once he settled down and I maintain he is unfortunate not to be in the current England squad.

"He still has three years to go of his contract but we want to reward him for what he has achieved for us."

Gardner signed a four-year deal to keep him at Villa Park until 2012.

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