Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 April 2014

Cuellar could stay - McLeish

Carlos Cuellar

New Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish is to hold talks with defender Carlos Cuellar over his future and hinted he may have to stay at Villa Park and fight for his place.

Cuellar, currently recovering from a knee operation, has been linked with a move back to Rangers who sold him to Villa for £8million four years ago. He slipped down the pecking order last season after the arrival of McLeish's predecessor Gerard Houllier.

"I've only been in the door a couple of days," said McLeish. "I did see Carlos in the dining room and he has got an injury at the moment. I know there is interest from Rangers but I have to assess things from an Aston Villa point of view. Maybe we have to keep Carlos here and he has got to fight for his place again."

The former Rangers boss has hinted the club's crop of young players will have a major role to play next season. The likes of Marc Albrighton, Ciaran Clark and Barry Bannan all impressed last season at senior level.

McLeish said: "The big thing for me now is to assess the squad. There are targets out there. We've got to trade in a careful manner. It's not about a big pot of gold. It's about trading carefully for the benefit and future of the club.

"But we have a number of marvellous players, some cracking young players I look forward to possibly integrating into the team proper this coming season. It could be a breakthrough season for a lot of the young ones."