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O'Neill plays down Carew talk

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Martin O'Neill insists Aston Villa striker John Carew remains a key part of his plans amid speculation linking him with a January move to Fenerbahce.

Carew's representatives are reported to have held talks with the Turkish club over a possible move for the Norway international. But O'Neill has stressed Carew has a key part still to play at Villa despite struggling to reproduce his best form on a consistent basis this season.

"I've no idea about that at all. Absolutely not - but it's that time of year again coming up. There's nothing in it," said O'Neill.

"I haven't spoken to John or his agent about it. He's played in Turkey before and I'm sure that won't be the only link to one of our players this season. I've not even bothered to chase it up.

"We're at a really important stage and John is very important to us. I would be pretty loathe to be losing players.

"John has been an integral part of the side, he's done very well and I want a bit of genuine competition for places, which I think I have at the moment - maybe not everywhere but in a number of areas."

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Topics:
Football
John Carew
Premier League
Aston Villa

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