Houllier admits McGregor interest

Aston Villa are keeping tabs on Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor as Gerard Houllier seeks a long-term replacement for Brad Friedel.

Houllier confirmed McGregor, 28, was watched by assistant boss Gary McAllister and goalkeeping coach Rafael Gonzalez during Rangers’ Champions League defeat to Manchester United in mid-week.

Friedel has been in fine form for Villa this season and made a rare blunder in last Sunday’s defeat against his former club Blackburn.

Houllier has already indicated he would like Friedel to sign a new contract.

But the American is 39 and Houllier knows he has to think of the future.

Houllier said: "Yes we went to see him (McGregor) play.

"I’m very happy with Brad but I’m conscious he is 39 and I’d be silly not to look to the long term.

"Obviously, he didn’t have a good game versus Blackburn but, since the start of the season, he’s been spot on.

"He’s got experience and I trust him. I think he’s a good goalkeeper, been a good buy.

"Long term, we need to prepare for the future. I need to see the reserve goalkeeper (Brad Guzan) as well."

Houllier admits he is unlikely to make any major moves in the transfer window in January.

He expects several of Villa’s current crop of injured players to return to action in the next few weeks including Nigel Reo-Coker and Emile Heskey.

He said: "In January, I don’t think I’ll make many moves because there will be many injured players coming back.

"I’ve seen Reo-Coker running this morning and maybe in two weeks’ time he’ll be back.

"I am also hoping Heskey starts (training) with us on Monday or Tuesday.

"I also don’t want to buy what we have. It’s definitely in midfield where we need to buy one or two players."