New boss admits he won’t be able to keep Young at Villa Park but knows his first task will be to sort out Stewart Downing’s future at the clubAston Villa manager Alex McLeish has admitted he is resigned to losing Ashley Young over the summer, but the Scot is determined to hold onto Stewart Downing.

Young has been linked with a move away from Villa Park since the end of the season, with Manchester United his reported destination, and McLeish concedes he didn’t expect to be working with the forward next season.

“It’s not confirmed yet [Young’s transfer to Manchester United] but it does seem likely,” he told Talksport.

“In my humble opinion it will be very difficult [to keep hold of him].”

Ashley Young is being targeted by Liverpool as they believe that Aston Villa will accept a bid of around £25 million.

The England international’s contract expires next summer and his club would rather cash in on him now rather than allow him to move for free in 2012.

Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham are all thought to be interested in Young, which could help Villa achieve their asking price if a bidding war erupts.

The winger is likely to be keen on a move after the disappointing season Villa have endured, especially as he would be likely to improve on his current £65,000 per week deal.

Ashley Young has been urged by his Villa team-mates Marc Albrighton and Robert Pires to sign a new contract this summer.

Ashley Young has been in fine form for Villa this season and with his current deal set to expire in 16 months time Young has been linked with a move away.

Tottenham, Manchester United and Liverpool are among his admirers, although manager Gerard Houllier is keen to hold on to him.

Young has maintained that he will discuss his future in the summer and his colleagues are hopeful the 25-year-old will stay.

“I don’t know what is happening with Ashley but for me, he should stay at Villa,” said Pires. “It is important for Villa. Ashley is a very good player, he plays for the national team.

Manchester City are plotting a move for Aston Villa winger Ashley Young as a major rebuild of the Eastlands squad is planned this summer, according to a report from The Daily Mirror.

City are reportedly set to unload Craig Bellamy, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Martin Petrov in the summer, and plan to line up with Young on one wing and Adam Johnson on the other.

Young, 24, has impressed once again for Villa this season, but might be tempted to leave, along with several other Villa stars, after another season when breaking into the top four of the Premier League has proved too much for Martin O’Neill’s squad.

City have, like neighbours Manchester United, also been linked with a move for James Milner. O’Neill has angrily refuted suggestions that the midfielder is set to leave, as he looks to retain the services of his star players ahead of likely summer upheaval.

Ashley Young wants Aston Villa to learn from last season’s fade-out as they chase FA Cup glory and a Champions League spot in the final two months of this campaign.

Villa were in pole position to break into the Barclays Premier League top four 12 months ago as they held a five-point advantage over Arsenal, but they managed only one more victory and ended up being overhauled by the Gunners and Everton.

He told Press Association Sport: “Last season is last season. That has been put to bed now. We are looking forward and concentrating on things this season. But you can learn from last season. You can always learn from things that don’t go so well.”

He added: “We had a great cup run and got to the Carling Cup final. It was disappointing to lose but now we are in another semi-final going back to Wembley and we are doing well in the league.”

“It is a massive couple of months and fingers crossed it does go the right way, the way we want it to go. We are still in the mix in the league with a chance of finishing higher than last season and any domestic final is a fantastic one.

“We’ve achieved one and experienced the disappointment of losing and now you want to get back there and get the winners’ medal you deserve.”

Aston Villa midfielder James Milner has been voted PFA Young Player of the Year. The England international has had a sensational campaign for Villa and has been honoured by his fellow professionals.

Milner succeeds Aston Villa team-mate Ashley Young in taking the award and beat off strong competition for the prize. Wayne Rooney and Cesc Fabregas, both previous winners of the award, were in the running, along with Joe Hart, who has enjoyed a fine season on loan at Birmingham City.

Milner, though, came out on top in the voting from his peers as Rooney took the Player of the Year award. “It’s a massive honour,” said Milner. “It’s a great trophy and you look at the list of players who have won it beforehand and there are some fantastic names on there.

“The fact it is voted for by your fellow professionals makes it a great honour to receive.”

Manchester City are plotting a move for Aston Villa winger Ashley Young as a major rebuild of the Eastlands squad is planned this summer, according to a report from The Daily Mirror.

City are reportedly set to unload Craig Bellamy, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Martin Petrov in the summer, and plan to line up with Young on one wing and Adam Johnson on the other.

Young, 24, has impressed once again for Villa this season, but might be tempted to leave, along with several other Villa stars, after another season when breaking into the top four of the Premier League has proved too much for Martin O’Neill’s squad.

City have, like neighbours Manchester United, also been linked with a move for James Milner. O’Neill has angrily refuted suggestions that the midfielder is set to leave, as he looks to retain the services of his star players ahead of likely summer upheaval.

Spurs boss Harry Redknapp is looking to strengthen his squad ahead of next season’s Champions League campaign and the Aston Villa winger is apparently on his shopping list.
Ashley Young is wanted by Spurs and Manchester City (PA) Ashley Young is wanted by Spurs and Manchester City (PA)

Redknapp already has an abundance of riches on the flanks, with Gareth Bale, Aaron Lennon and David Bentley all at his disposal, but according to the Daily Star, he is keen to make Young his big summer signing.

He is prepared to offer Jermaine Jenas or Robbie Keane, together with £16 million for Young, who is also believed to be a target for big-spending Manchester City.

Neither Jenas nor Keane are part of Redknapp’s plans for next season and the Spurs manager will try to offload the pair to finance part of his summer spending spree.

Aston Villa winger Ashley Young is a prime summer target for Champions League holders Barcelona according to The Daily Mirror, with the Catalan giants set to offer a fee close to £25 million to secure his signing.

The 24-year-old who has earned seven caps with the England senior squad was PFA Young Player of the Season in 2009 has scored nine goals in all competitions during the current campaign.

Last season’s impressive performances attracted reported interest from Barca’s rivals Real Madrid and Chelsea.

The Catalans were originally concentrating on the signing of Frenchman Franck Ribery from Bayern Munich as a left-sided option, but they appear to have shifted their attention to Young.

The Villans have insisted they have not heard from Barca at this stage.

Ashley Young believes that he has the versatility to play anywhere and is now hoping that Martin O’Neill can use that. Young, who turned 25 this month, has played on both wings and as a lone forward under the guidance of the Villa boos, and the player believes his versatility should not to be dismissed in favour of stability on the left-wing. The Aston Villa Hospitality crowd agree.

“Nowadays there are a lot of players who can play in different positions and that’s good for the team, the squad and the manager,” Young told Aston Villa’s official club website.

“I am a versatile player. When I first signed for the club, I played up-front.

“I have also played off the front man, I’ve played right, I’ve played left and I’ve even played in central midfield, too.

“There are a lot of positions I have played in. Wherever the manager wants me to play I am happy to play there.

“As long as I am in the starting XI, that’s all that counts.”

Ashley Young missed just one game of Aston Villa’s 2009-10 Premier League campaign, scoring five goals and assisting a further 10.