Houllier will wait for Larsson

Villa boss rules out Ireland exit

Larsson: Set for Blues stay

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Aston Villa boss Gerard Houllier could launch a fresh move for Sebastian Larsson in the summer after missing out on the Birmingham midfielder this month.

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The Villa boss has ruled out a January transfer window exit for Stephen Ireland but was non-committal when quizzed over the future of Stephen Warnock.

Houllier was one of a number of Premier League managers eager to land Sweden international Larsson this month, but has been told he will be staying at St Andrews.

However, the former Arsenal player is out of contract in the summer and is expected to leave Blues for nothing and join a club of his choice.

Houllier said: "I knew Larsson's contract was up at the end of June, so obviously I was interested because he's a good footballer, good passer.

"He can play different positions. I think he even played right-back at Arsenal.

"I think he would have been good for us. He's staying at Birmingham for now.

"But in June the door will still be open. I thought it (any deal) would happen in June anyway.

"Remember, Birmingham have qualified for the Carling Cup final."

Ireland and Warnock

Houllier confirmed midfielder Ireland will not be leaving the club during the current transfer window.

The former Manchester City man is currently sidelined with a knee injury but has struggled to make an impression under Villa's French boss.

Houllier said: "Will Ireland still be here in February? Oh, yes. Do I see him going anywhere? No.

"He should be back next week (from his injury)."

Houllier was less certain over whether left-back Warnock will stay with Villa this month after losing his place to Ciaran Clark and then Nathan Baker.

Warnock has been linked with a loan move back to his former club, Liverpool.

Houllier said: "He trained well this morning. He is competing to get his place back.

"Ciaran Clark has done well and so has Nathan Baker but, yes, there are two or three days left before the end of the transfer window. Anything can happen."