Belfast Telegraph

Villa in contract talks with Guzan

Aston Villa are holding talks with keeper Brad Guzan over a new contract as he prepares to make his first Barclays Premier League appearance of the season at Bolton on Saturday.

Guzan has to fill the gap left by Shay Given who will be sidelined for a month with a hamstring injury. The United States international has had few opportunities since joining Villa three years ago because of the form of Brad Friedel and now Given.

But Villa boss Alex McLeish has faith in the ability of Guzan whose current deal runs out next summer. He said: "This is a challenge for Brad now, coming in, and a good opportunity for him to show how good a goalkeeper he is. Hopefully we can defend well enough so that they (Bolton) don't get to him too much."

He continued: "But we know that in a game, he'll have to come to the fore and we believe in him and we've got good faith in him.

"He's extremely unlucky to have been understudying some great goalkeepers, but now his chance has come."

McLeish admitted: "Brad did hint that possibly he was looking to go elsewhere and play first team football but, even before Shay got injured, we told him we needed him and we valued him.

"We'd been talking about a new contract and I guess that will probably be talked about in the coming few weeks."

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