Balaban won't budge

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David O'Leary has announced that Aston Villa's misfit Croatian international, Bosko Balaban is refusing to leave the Birmingham club, even though he can't get a first team game.

Balaban spent much of last season on loan at his former club, Dinamo Zagreb.

But he chose to return to Villa over the summer with the intention of recapturing the form he has shown at international level and which so impressed then-manager John Gregory when he signed him in 2001.

However, the 25-year-old has only made one reserve team performance so far this season, yet still he refuses to accept any more loan offers.

"He's been offered loans by a few people and he's chosen not to go," said O'Leary. "That's up to him."

There were rumours in the summer that Balaban's agent was in fact touting the player's services throughout the world, the player even being linked with Chinese outfit Dalian Shide at one point.

All possible connections though have amounted to nothing.

"There's been a few clubs, in England and abroad," an exasperated O'Leary confirmed. "There was even a Scottish club, Dundee, at about the time they moved for Ravanelli.

"So it isn't a question of him being stopped. We'd let him out on loan, there's no problem with that one.

"It would help him and the club. I've said he can go out on loan."