Houllier plans Pires talks
Gerard Houllier plans to discuss Robert Pires' future, but feels contract talks must be put on hold for now.
Last Updated: 01/03/11 3:28pm
Aston Villa boss Gerard Houllier plans to discuss Robert Pires' future, but feels contract talks must be put on hold for now.
Veteran French midfielder Pires arrived at Villa in November 2010, penning a short-term deal.
Houllier hoped to put the 37-year-old's experience to good use, while the former Arsenal playmaker was keen to take in a second spell in England.
The agreement suited both parties, with Pires having been without a club since parting company with Spanish outfit Villarreal in the summer.
It has taken the World Cup winner time to rediscover his match sharpness, but his performances of late have offered glimpses of his true abilities.
Pires, buoyed by his return to form, has now revealed that he would welcome the opportunity to stay on at Villa Park past the end of the season.
Houllier has hinted that such an agreement could be struck, but believes his focus for now must remain on helping Villa pass the 40-point mark and preserve their Premier League status for another year.
On Pires, the French tactician said: "At any age you can improve. He went a long time without playing but now he is more settled with the whole club and the whole squad. The boys like him.
"Probably the first game against Blackburn [in the FA Cup at the end of January] did him a lot of good in terms of confidence and I thought he was ready to play again.
"There are a lot of players who will be out of contract at the end of the season so we might have to delay talks.
"First of all we have to see what we can do. We are not in a very comfortable position in the league. Once we are in a better position we can assess what we can do.
"Also financially, because that goes with it."