Davies' agent angers O'Neill
Martin O'Neill has hit back at Curtis Davies' agent in the row over a new deal for the Villa defender.
Last Updated: 03/10/09 12:16pm
Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill has hit back at Curtis Davies' agent after his criticism of the club over a lack of talks on a new deal for the defender.
Davies is currently on the sidelines recovering from major shoulder surgery and is not expected to return to action until Christmas at the earliest.
The former West Brom centre-back has a clause in his current contract which entitles him to new terms once he has played 60 games for the Villa Park club.
Davies has clocked up 58 outings to date and his representative Phil Sproson admitted he felt there should have been some leeway for his client, given that he played through the pain barrier before going under the knife.
But that suggestion has angered O'Neill, who feels all contract negotiations should be kept under wraps, rather than being discussed in the public arena.
He said: "I always thought that it was private information with a contract but if the agent of a player chooses to divulge them then that's entirely up to them.
"He's due a re-negotiation of a contract if he plays 60 games.
"I don't really want to bring this into the public domain, but I think that we've pretty well looked after players here at this football club - both injured players and players who have done very well for the football club.
"We had some conversations with the agent and really, at the end of it all, the agent knows where we stand and what we were looking at.
"He has chosen now to come out and tell these things and that's entirely up to him.
"The fact is I do not deny that the stipulation in his contract is an 'X' number of games which is 60. I didn't know that at the time until the agent reminded me."
O'Neill also rejected suggestions that Davies' operation was timed to coincide with his contract benchmark, and insisted they were happy he had put his body on the line to help the Midlands outfit.
He added: "That is not the reason that I did not play him in the game against Fulham.
"I was very pleased that he had played some matches, when really he probably wasn't completely fit - in the sense that it was psychological if not physical that the shoulder might come out at any given stage again.
"So from that viewpoint we're grateful. But all of those things are all taken into consideration when eventually we sit down and decide to do it (the contract), naturally.
"There are certain guidelines but this idea that 'he is considering his future', I'm not so sure that that's the brightest thing that an agent - and a player who's controlling his agent - should be saying."