Aston Villa striker John Carew has played down speculation linking him with a move to Manchester City and insisted: "I will be here next season."

Carew is reported to also be on Mark Hughes's radar following his £12 million capture of Villa midfielder Gareth Barry. The Norway international was in outstanding form after returning from a back problem in February and finished as Villa's leading scorer for the second season running with 15 goals.

Carew said: "There are always rumours when the window opens. One week it could be me, one week it could be Ashley Young or whoever. But I am so happy here. I love everyone here. I don't see any reason for anything else to happen."

He added: "I know I am part of the manager's plans. Rumours that come up, we can't do anything about that. I am happy here. I can't see why I should move.

"I am used to speculation. I have been in the game so many years. I take it as a compliment if clubs are looking at you but I don't relate to it at all. I am happy here.

"That is what is important for me. I have got the current games with the national team and then we are back in early July for pre-season training."

Villa boss Martin O'Neill is being linked with a summer move for out-of-contract Newcastle striker Michael Owen.

But it would mean taking their wage structure to a new level to match Owen's current six-figure salary - or for the one-time England striker to take a pay cut.

Villa showed their intentions when they offered Barry £80,000 a week to sign a new deal before he opted to make the switch to Eastlands.

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#Manchester City
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#Gareth Barry
#Mark Hughes
#Michael Owen
#Premier League
#Ashley Young
#Mark Hughes
#Aston Villa