Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill is confident winger Ashley Young will join midfielder Craig Gardner in signing a new long-term contract "sooner rather than later".

Young still has nearly three years remaining of the deal he signed when moving from Watford in January 2007, but O'Neill is keen to reward the player for his outstanding performances.

The former Celtic boss told PA Sport: "Will Young sign a new contract? It is just a matter of getting sat down. I think it will happen sooner rather than later."

He added: "Everyone knows what I think of Ashley. He has been fantastic for us once he settled down and I maintain he is unfortunate not to be in the current England squad.

"He still has three years to go of his contract but we want to reward him for what he has achieved for us."

Gardner has put pen to paper on a four-year contract which will keep him with the midlands club until the summer of 2012.

Strikers John Carew and Gabriel Agbonlahor plus defender Wilfred Bouma have also signed new deals since the end of last season.

Gardner was involved in 25 league and cup matches during the 2007-08 campaign and made 15 starts in the Barclays Premier League.

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Topics:
#Internationals
#Watford
#Gabriel Agbonlahor
#Football
#John Carew
#Ashley Young
#Aston Villa
#Craig Gardner