Aston Villa star negotiating his Great Escape?

Aston Villa midfielder Ashley Young Escape ClauseAccording to reports, Aston Villa and England ace Ashley Young is attempting to negotiate an escape clause into his new Villa contract. Young’s current deal lands him £65,000 a week, but comes to an end July in 2012. That’s still some time away, but new Villa boss Gérard Houllier is seeking to get his most talented players locked down with long-term contracts. This new deal would be worth a reported £75,000 a week and would see Young tied down to Villa for the foreseeable future.

Difficulties have arisen during the negotiating stage as a result of Tottenham monitoring Young’s availability. Harry Redknapp attempted to sign Young over the summer, but found that Spurs did not have the funds to match Young’s price tag or personal terms. Young may have very well been keeping his eye on the news and seen that Redknapp is looking for two more world-class players to join his squad in the coming years. Young is keen not to sign away his future to Villa in case Tottenham should come in for him in the near future.

The Aston Villa star is reportedly seeking a £12-13 million escape clause to be written into the terms of his new contract. Thus, should Spurs come in for Young this summer, Villa would be powerless to prevent his leaving. Villa shelled out £9.65 million for the quick footed youthful forward back in January 2007, so this new deal would still see Villa turn a profit should the escape clause come into effect. Yet Villa fans would no doubt be sad to see such a vital part of their future leave to join a rival premiership team.

Given that these difficult negotiations are occurring at the same time as the whole Wayne Rooney palaver, this will no doubt be taken as a further sign that in modern times it’s the player that calls the shots, not the club. As I noted in a past article things do seem to be swinging depressingly in that direction, but can we really blame Young for showing ambition? It’s not like he’s trying to screw the Villa faithful over – the escape clause ensures that Aston Villa turn a tidy profit on Young in terms of transfer value and it’s a sign of good faith that Young is seeking a contract extension whatsoever instead of waiting for his contract to run out and join Spurs on a free.

Young’s case, is, for me,  analogous to the Cesc Fabregas situation over at Arsenal. Most Arsenal fans have now come to accept that Cesc’s long-term dreams do not lie with Arsenal. It’s difficult to deal with the fact that one of your most talented players isn’t looking to stay with your club in the long-term, but as long they remain respectful to the club and its fans can you really blame them for following their dreams? The situation is significantly different from the disrespect and furore that Wayne Rooney has created at Manchester United.

What’s your take on the Ashley Young situation over at Aston Villa? Is it another sign that players are taking too much control in the modern game?

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