Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 30 September 2014

Houllier to decide Friedel future

Brad Friedel

Gerard Houllier will decide on veteran Aston Villa keeper Brad Friedel's future in February.

Houllier is looking to the future and has already confirmed Villa have watched Rangers number one Allan McGregor. Friedel is 39 and is close to become Villa's oldest ever player - he is currently only behind right-back Ernest Callaghan, who played for the club in the 1940s.

His contract expires at the end of the season and his Villa future will be sorted out in a couple of months time and Houllier, who met club owner Randy Lerner on Wednesday, said: "We are looking at several goalkeepers - and we've told Brad. We're looking for a keeper for the future."

He added: "If Brad is fine in February, then we will keep him. We've told him that, if he feels okay.

"I've spoken to him and said 'obviously, you're 39, so I need to look to the future but I'm perfectly happy with you'.

"And, if he feels fine, why not? We'll ask him in February. If he feels alright, we'll keep him. If he stays, he'll stay as the first-team keeper."

Friedel will pass Callaghan's record of 39 years and 257 days if he plays against Manchester United on February 1 at Old Trafford.

Houllier also confirmed midfielder Steve Sidwell is close to completing a move to West Ham and that there had also been interest from Wolves.

He said: "Steve is having a medical. He's at the end of his contract (next summer) and it's not a secret that he lives in London.

"Otherwise I think Wolves would have been interested in signing him."

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