O'Neill keen to keep Bouma
Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill hopes to persuade Wilfred Bouma to sign a new contract.
Last Updated: 17/05/08 10:31am
Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill is optimistic defender Wilfred Bouma will agree to stay at the club.
Bouma, who is currently away with the Holland squad preparing for the Euro 2008 finals, was one of Villa's most consistent performers last season as they finished sixth in the Barclays Premier League.
His contract at Villa Park expires in the summer but the club has an option for a one-year extension and O'Neill hopes to persuade him to stay for a further 12 months after that.
O'Neill said: "I think Fredy (Bouma) has done very well indeed. I am sure deep down he is pretty pleased with himself after the way things have gone this year.
Free of injury
"I don't think it was a case of anyone winning me over after I came here nearly two years ago but a case of seeing what people are capable of doing.
"In fairness to Fredy, he got injured relatively quickly after I came here and was actually unavailable for my very first game in charge against Arsenal.
"Fredy has had a few injury problems but this last season was the longest spell he had stayed injury free, which is a major consideration in people doing well.
"We are are happy to take up at least the year option on Fredy's current contract and we are hoping to do an extra year on top of that."