O'Neill rejects Laursen claims
Villa boss to meet with defender's agent
By James Dall. Last Updated: December 11, 2007 6:37pm
Laursen: Running short on time
Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill has hit back at Martin Laursen's claims that the club are taking risks in their bid to secure his future.
The Danish defender is out of contract in six months and is free to talk to foreign clubs in January about signing pre-contract agreements.
Laursen was quoted as saying Villa are playing 'a dangerous game' in leaving it so late to hold talks over a new deal.
However, O'Neill has dismissed the 30-year-old's comments, insisting that he is set to meet with his agent this week.
"On the Martin Laursen thing, it is interesting because I have made appointments to see his agent this week and actually it (playing a dangerous game) is not true," he said.
"What can I say? We will see what happens. We haven't spoken yet. Is it (the contract) moving closer? I don't know. Nothing has changed. There may be talks this week or the following week.
"The fact is that Martin has played all the games. If he has got a choice in this matter, then that is entirely up to him.
"If Martin had played one game and then missed five, played one then missed five then I am not so sure that there would be a 'dangerous game' being played. That is the point."
Olof Mellberg and out of favour goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen also become free agents next summer, and O'Neill admits he may lose his stars.
"It could well be the case (that they leave) but I will do exactly what I can."
Wilfred Bouma's situation also remains unclear, but the defender says he is keen to extend his current deal.
"I have an option for an extra season, so I could have an extension for one year. But we have to know before 30th April and so there is not long left," he said in the Birmingham Mail.
"Things are going well for me now. Who knows what will happen? I'm very happy here. My family are happy and that's what you always look for.
"If you are to play good and feel good you have to be settled and this is my home now. I am very pleased with things here. But you never know."