Aston Villa are hoping the signings made during the January transfer window will help convince winger Ashley Young his long-term future is with the midlands club.
Young has only 17 months of his contract remaining and has put any possible thoughts about a new deal on hold until the summer. He has been linked with the two Manchester clubs, Liverpool and Tottenham - but assistant manager Gary McAllister hopes the capture of Darren Bent and Jean Makoun will show Young he can realise his ambitions at Villa.
The Scot explained: "The conversations with the chairman (Randy Lerner) and the manager were along the lines that nobody Gerard Houllier wants to keep is leaving. Simple as that. Come the end of the season, we just need to wait and see what happens then. But throughout the transfer window, there was nobody the manager wanted to keep being allowed to leave."
McAllister admitted: "Right across the board, the players are very powerful.
"It's not a case of players abusing that system. But in the past it was the owners (who had the power) and it has shifted now.
"Will it be a triumph to keep Young next season? Absolutely and hopefully by the signings we have made, we can convince our top players to want to be here.
"That is what the manager and chairman are searching to do. They want us to be competitive right at the top end of the league."