Young eyes Champions League
Ashley Young has set his sights on starring in the Champions League one day.
With Wayne Rooney suspended and Liverpool duo Steven Gerrard and Andy Carroll both missing through injury, Young looks certain to start England's Euro 2012 qualifier with Switzerland at Wembley on Saturday.
It would represent another high spot in an excellent year for Young, which has not gone unnoticed away from Villa Park. "I have never doubted my ability. There will always be people who do and everybody is entitled to their opinion. But my opinion is that I can play in the biggest and best competitions," said Young.
Manchester United and Liverpool are thought to be just two of the Barclays Premier League clubs interested in acquiring the 25-year-old's services. And worryingly for Villa, both can offer more than the midlands giants.
He added: "I always want to challenge myself. To challenge myself is to play in them big competitions - hopefully one day I will be able to do that."
Young is a more attractive proposition because, with a year remaining on his present deal, potential suitors know the asking price will be lower than if the former Watford man was tied to a longer-term contract.
And for the player, life elsewhere must seem very attractive considering what he was watching when United tackled Barcelona at Wembley last Saturday. "I watched Saturday's game as a player that wished I was out there playing," he said. "As a kid you always want to play in the biggest competitions. I was no different.
"Of course Barcelona are the best team but, for Manchester United to get to the Champions League final as well, it must mean that we have got teams in this country that can match the best in Europe."
For now, though, Young insists his focus remains on England even if he is clearly not oblivious to the swirl of gossip going on around him.
"I have always said I am going to talk to the chairman and manager after this game," he said. "I have given 100% in every game I have played for Aston Villa. I am away with England now and my focus is fully on Switzerland. We know it is going to be a massive game but it is always nice to have speculation."