No rift but O'Neill fails to commit to Villa

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Martin O'Neill passed up the opportunity to commit his long term future to Aston Villa on Thursday but insists there is "no fall-out" with chairman-owner Randy Lerner.

O'Neill rubbished reports from earlier in the week that he was ready to quit Villa after unsubstantiated internet claims that he was unhappy with Lerner's transfer policy.

He said: "There is not an ounce of truth in the story that I have had a fall-out with Randy Lerner. In fact, he called me earlier in the week to see where these stories were coming from."

He added: "He was pretty surprised and also very supportive and it was good to hear that. I have been delighted with the investment put into the club. I have been allowed to invest £80million on players.

"If the chairman decided to sell, and he has no intention of doing so, then he could get his money back with interest on four or five of those players.

"It is nonsense to say that I want to walk away now. There is still so much to play for and there is a renewed determination to see it through."

"I will assess everything at the end of the season. I will sit down with the chairman and see where we are going.

"There will be a number of determining factors, the supporters, the chairman who will have a big part in proceedings, and I will also play a part because it is my life.

"I will assess everything at the end of the season. I am contacted on a yearly basis and would hope to continue."

But when asked about if he was at Villa for the long haul O'Neill said: "There is no such thing as a manager saying he is in it for the long haul. Possibly there is only one manager who could say that, somebody who has won dozens of honours, championships, European titles, who is based up in Manchester (Sir Alex Ferguson)."

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