O'Leary's money worry
By Paul Higham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
David O'Leary says money could decide Thomas Hitzlsperger's future.David O'Leary says that Thomas Hitzlsperger's future at Aston Villa could depend on the financial package they can offer him.
The German international's current contract at Villa Park expires in the summer, but O'Leary wants to keep him at the club.
With time running out to conclude a deal for him, O'Leary says that money could be the overriding factor in Hiztlsperger's decision.
"I want Thomas to stay but the clock is starting to wind down. I am aware of that," said O'Leary.
"The chairman (Doug Ellis) has been away for three weeks and I think Thomas's agent is coming over in the next week or so to see about the contract because, like I said, the clock is winding down.
"I think Thomas wants to stay here. His first option is to us without a doubt. But it's now whether we can provide him with the right package to stay here."
O'Leary says that he wants his Villa side to now go on a winning run to push them up the table and try to emulate last year's sixth-placed finish.
"We've got the big boys out of the way now like Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United and now we've got to play a lot of sides who are around us in the table.
"There are a lot of games on the horizon that we can win but the opposition will feel the same but a few wins can soon push you up the table.
"We've got 10-12 games to go and things can go either way. There are that many clubs bunched together. You could win the last six games and zoom up the league.
"What we want to do is try and prove that last season, when we finished sixth, was not a one-off and not be a side that yo-yos around from year to year."
Meanwhile, Villa have cancelled the contract of Finnish striker Mika Aaritalo by mutual consent.
The 19-year-old failed to establish himself at Villa and the club have decided to let him leave.