Duo deal talks continue
By Tom Adams
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Aston Villa are progressing in talks with Luke Moore and Thomas Hitzlsperger.David O'Leary has shed light on ongoing contract talks with two of Aston Villa's most promising players.
The club are looking to tie down Luke Moore and Thomas Hitzlsperger to long term deals, with both players out of contract in the summer.
Young striker Moore has made a big impression after breaking into the first team squad this season, and is highly rated by O'Leary.
Initial reports had suggested that the 19-year-old was concerned for his future prospects at Villa Park, and O'Leary has now moved to declare that Moore can play a major role for the Midlands club in upcoming years.
Moore has been offered terms for two years in a bid to reassess the development of the player after that period, and the ex-Leeds boss is hopeful he will put pen-to-paper.
"I see him as a young lad who is the future of the club," O'Leary told the club's official website.
"He's come in and done okay, we're offering him another contract to see how he progresses.
"He's been offered a two-year contract and if he progresses over the next few years, we'll get him back in and discuss a bigger contract.
"It's in his hands, I think he wants to stay here and hopefully he will sign for another couple of years."
Meanwhile the protracted saga over Hitzlsperger's future appears to be closer to a resolution after the two parties met to discuss terms on Monday.
The 22-year-old German international wants to be reassured that the club have future ambitions to match his own, and is determined to secure his place in Jurgen Klinsmann's squad for the 2006 World Cup finals.
However O'Leary believes that financial considerations will prove paramount in a decision, and with a host of sides closely monitoring developments The Villans will be keen for his signature sooner rather than later.
"He wanted to know if the club were going to bring in players and of course he got down to figures for his contract," O'Leary continued.
"Now the club are trying to come to a compromise between what Thomas wants and what the club can afford.
"I was always optimistic that the player would want to sign, but it will come down to money though I've tried to get myself into the negotiations to talk football, rather than talking figures.
"I think Thomas is at a level now where he's got to move on to the next level, that will hopefully take him to the World Cup.
"If he goes and has a brilliant World Cup that can be a launching pad for another contract to put him in with the big boys."