Martin O´Neill is refusing to give up hope of persuading long-serving defender Olof Mellberg to stay at Aston Villa and sign a new contract.

Mellberg, whose current deal runs out next summer, is reported in the Italian media to be ready to sign a pre-contract with Juventus.

But he has not told Villa boss O´Neill that he is close to ending his seven-year association with the midlands club, and O´Neill said: "I don´t know if there is anything in the Juventus link and Olof will tell me in his own time if that is the case. Players are free to make decisions here."

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#Olof Mellberg
#Football
#Premier League
#Aston Villa