Young seeks bigger stage
In-demand Aston Villa star Ashley Young admits he wants to play "at the highest level" as he prepares to discuss his future.
By Pete O'Rourke - Follow me on Twitter @skysportspeteo
Last Updated: 06/06/11 3:00pm
In-demand Aston Villa star Ashley Young admits he wants to play "at the highest level" as he prepares to discuss his future with Villa chairman Randy Lerner.
Manchester United and Liverpool are both thought to be leading the chase for the England international.
Young, who came off the bench to score England's equaliser against Switzerland on Saturday, is entering the final year of his contract and is widely expected to leave Villa this summer.
The skilful attacker has hinted he would be interested in a move to United after revealing he wants to be playing in the UEFA Champions League on a regular basis.
"I've always had self-belief. I've always had the confidence I can play at the highest level," said Young.
"I want to test myself at World Cups, European Championships and the Champions League. As a kid you always want to play in the best competitions. As a kid I wanted to play in the Champions League - and hopefully one day I will.
"People say the prime of your careers is aged 25, 26, 27. I'm 26 next month so hopefully I'm coming into my prime."
Young's Villa team-mate Darren Bent admits he is not surprised the likes of Premier League champions Manchester United are chasing the winger's signature.
"He has shown people why clubs like Manchester United are after him and he is a top, top player," admitted Bent.
"He has played the last four internationals and got three man of the matches so he is on fire at the moment.
"That's why teams like United want him.
"I have always said the best player I have played with club-wise was Luka Modric at Tottenham but Ash can't be too far behind now, if not on a par with him."
Bent believes it is unlikely that Villa can prevent Young from moving to the Champions League runners-up.
"I am still trying little bits and bobs here and there to make him stay but at the end of the day he a top, top player and a top professional," added Bent.
"If he wants to go and play for the second-best club side in the world, who is going to stop him?"