Young not planning Villa exit

Ashley Young insists he is not thinking of leaving Aston Villa – despite putting contract talks on hold at Villa Park.

Young has 18 months left on his current deal and new Villa chief Gerard Houllier had stated that fresh terms were close to being concluded, only for the player to then say he will not agree anything until the summer at the earliest.

His refusal to discuss terms led to speculation over his future, with some believing he will follow Gareth Barry and James Milner out of the door, but the 25-year-old has reassured fans he is not looking to leave.

Speaking ahead of this Sunday’s derby with Birmingham, Young told The Sun: "There’s nothing about me departing.

"All I’m doing is concentrating on my football. I don’t want to be distracted by anything else.

"I’ve not said I’m leaving and I’m not taking my focus off football.

"They don’t need to worry about anything with me."

He added: "I’m delighted with how everything is going, my concentration is 100 per cent on football.

"The fans have been brilliant since I’ve been here, always singing my name.

"Fingers crossed, come Sunday, I can go out there and repay them big-time in the derby.

"I don’t think they are a selling club. GB and Milly have left but players will leave every club – you just carry on.

"I’m concentrating 100 per cent on Villa, I’m not thinking about moving."

Young scored two goals in the 5-1 victory over the Blues in 2008 but would put a win before scoring this time.

He added: "I’d take a win, whether I score or not. If we play well and get three points, that’s the main thing in derby games.

"It’s always going to be a tough game as it’s the derby and there’s a hostile atmosphere whenever you play Blues.

"But we are concentrating on ourselves and making sure we do our job right – if we do that we should win."

Young has been playing in a new position this term – just off the main striker rather than out wide – although he was back on the wing for England in the goalless stalemate against Montenegro.

He added: "I’m delighted with how things have gone with Villa and England and I need to keep working hard.

"I enjoy playing in the new position, it gives me more freedom and fingers crossed I can keep playing well for Villa and impressing the manager.

"I wish it was as simple as being told to roam and be free but it’s for me to link the strikers and the widemen and the defensive side of it as well.

"I’ve played up front in the past and I didn’t realise how much running there was to do up there."

Young is full of praise for new boss Houllier, believing Villa can push for a Champions League spot after finishing sixth in the last three seasons.

He added: "The gaffer’s been fantastic. The club can keep progressing and pushing for that Champions League spot."