Alex McLeish has declared that he is keen to keep hold of Carlos Cuellar and discussions over a new deal for the defender will continue.
The Spaniard will be out of contract in the summer but he is not a player that McLeish wants to let go after a series of impressive performances this season.
Having been used effectively at right-back and left-back recently in addition to his preferred centre-back role, Cuellar has shown his versatility.
But McLeish has now challenged the experienced 30-year-old to maintain his current level and help propel Villa up the Premier League table.
McLeish said: "I think there have been talks (about a new contract) and they will be ongoing.
"I've said to Carlos it's important he keeps playing as well as he can and then contracts won't be a problem for him.
"If he produces the form he is capable of, we will get more clean sheets so why would you want to let someone like that go."
McLeish has again hinted he would not rule out a return to Villa for striker Robbie Keane, whose loan spell from Los Angeles Galaxy ends after this weekend's game at Wigan.
Keane has scored three goals in five starts and caught the eye in a deeper role behind Darren Bent.
McLeish said: "Will Robbie return? I don't know. We have to see where we are in terms of recruitment in the summer but Robbie has had a good influence on the place.
"Where he is right now probably has a glamorous feeling about it but at the same time he's got a bit of adulation from Villa fans so maybe that has probably whetted his appetite."