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Ashley Young 'Must Stay' at Aston Villa Even Without a New Contract and Will Not Be Sold

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Ashley Young will not be sold in the January transfer window, <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2010/dec/20/ashley-young-aston-villa-contract?CMP=twt_gu" target="new">the Guardian</a> reports.
Ashley Young will not be sold in the January transfer window, the Guardian reports.

Aston Villa have insisted that star winger Ashley Young will be staying at Villa Park for the immediate future and that he will not be sold in the January transfer window - whether or not he signs a new contract with the Midlands club. According to Stuart James (yeah, I know) of Guardian fame:

[Villa] are so determined to prolong the England international's spell at the club that they have refused to rule out the possibility of allowing him to run down his contract and leave on a free transfer in 18 months' time.

Several clubs are known to be interest in the ex-Watford player's services, including Champions League teams Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United. Young, an England international and rising star, is not cup-tied under UEFA rules, and would have have been subject to a strong pursuit by United, Spurs, and Liverpool.

It is unknown whether the recently-minted club captain will be signing a new contract with Aston Villa, but his immediate future looks secure for now, news that will come as a major boost to the team as they attempt to claw their way back up the table. Young is a vital piece of Villa's pacey attacking game, and his departure would create a huge hole in the roster - and major consternation for Villa fans.