Gerard Houllier has revealed that he will speak to Brad Friedel in February as Aston Villa begin the search for another goalkeeper.
Friedel's contract expires at the end of the season, by which time he will have turned 40, and Houllier is already thinking of the future.
The Villa boss has made it clear to the American that he can make his own decision over whether to remain at the club, and that if he does stay he will still be No.1.
However, Houllier is already considering other options and has been linked with a move for Rangers' Scotland international Allan McGregor.
"We are looking at several goalkeepers - and we've told Brad," said Houllier, who met club owner Randy Lerner earlier this week.
"We're looking for a keeper for the future.
"If Brad is fine in February, then we will keep him. We've told him that, if he feels OK.
"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."
Houllier also confirmed that midfielder Steve Sidwell was close to completing a move to West Ham, as revealed by skysports.com on Wednesday.
The midfielder has struggled to make an impact at Villa since joining from Chelsea in the summer of 2008 and was also a target for Wolves.
Houllier 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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