Villa close to Osbourne accord

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Martin O'Neill has revealed that Aston Villa are close to agreeing a new deal with highly-rated midfielder Isaiah Osbourne.

The 18-year-old has broken into the Villa first team in the past week, making his first Premiership start in the 3-1 defeat to Liverpool on Saturday.

Osbourne models himself on former Arsenal hero Patrick Vieira and Villa are hopeful the youngster can also enjoy a lengthy career at the top level.

As such the Midlands club are looking to secure the midfielder's future and O'Neill believes an agreement may not be too far off.

"I have been making inroads with his agent and we are hoping to tie that down," O'Neill told the club's official website.

"The agent has spoken very, very positively about Isaiah wanting to stay and I don't see why not because this is exactly what he wants.

"He can see and the young lads can see that they will get a chance to play.

"What a week for him, he came on against Fulham, then played the two games - his full debut against Leicester [in the Carling Cup].

"He played a lot of the game, hadn't an ounce of energy left in his body.

"I thought he was getting tired against Liverpool but he didn't do too badly considering what he was up against. He will improve."