Houllier confident over Reo-Coker

Villa boss looks for midfielder deal

Reo-Coker: Talks

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Gerard Houllier remains confident that they will strike a deal to keep Nigel Reo-Coker at the club.

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The former West Ham United ace is out-of-contract at the end of the season, but Houllier has been hugely impressed with him since taking charge,

He has even made him his skipper, whilst Stilyan Petrov is sidelined.

Houllier says talks are now ongoing between the two parties, and he even went as far as confirming the figures being talked about.

"There are talks going on at the moment regarding Nigel. Am I confident a compromise can be reached? Yes, between the two figures mentioned," he said.

"That's a compromise. The figures mentioned are 30,000 and 50,000 and between there is 40,000.

"I want to keep Nigel and they (Reo-Coker and his representatives) know that. He was my captain."

Carew

Meanwhile, Houllier insists he showed no disrespect to striker John Carew and that his comments were misinterpreted.

Houllier and Carew were involved in a public spat over the weekend but the Villa boss is adamant everything has been resolved and the situation has been explained to the whole squad.

"This is my last word. The matter is over. I just explained in front

of everybody there was a discrepancy in terms of John's interpretation and what I said.

"My words (at press conferences) are always recorded so when John saw that he realised that there was a difference.

"The matter is over. I think it was better the whole team knows what I said and why I said it so that's finished now.

"I'm surprised because he's a very experienced player. He's been around everywhere and he knows me and he knows that sometimes the media can twist your words or use one angle.

"He knows that. I think the Norwegian press distorted what was in the English press or what was said."

Agbonlahor

Houllier has also insisted that he is not rushing Gabriel Agbonlahor back to fitness.

The England striker has been sidelined for five weeks following groin surgery, but he is set to feature against Blackpool on Wednesday.

"Gabby will be on the bench. It is a huge boost," said the Villa chief.

"He has only played 20 minutes for me and then he had to go off in my first game against Blackburn if you remember.

"Now Gabby has had the operation and he's back. I wouldn't say that he's totally fit and ready but he can be on the bench and help out if needed.

"It is not a risk, I wouldn't take a risk. Everything he does in training shows that he is okay. It is just a matter of match fitness now.

"I look at the records and he can score some goals."