Villa ponder Houllier's future

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Aston Villa will assess the results of final medical tests undergone on Friday by manager Gerard Houllier to determine whether he can return to his post, Press Association Sport understands.

Houllier was sidelined from his duties for the final month of last season after suffering a heart problem and Villa's medical staff will study the test results over the next few days before a decision on Houllier's future is made, probably by Wednesday.

Sources close to Villa told Press Association Sport last week that the test results will be the "driving force" behind the next step to be taken.

Caretaker manager Gary McAllister has maintained that Houllier wants to return to Villa and has been making plans for pre-season training and next season while recuperating, but Villa owner Randy Lerner will have the ultimate say on whether he feels Houllier is fit enough to return to work.

He is mindful of Houllier's long-term health being the number one priority but equally also wanting assurances it will not deteriorate should the 63-year-old come back to Villa.

Villa are keen to resolve the issue one way or the other so they can start planning in earnest for the new campaign - and a new manager - if it is the worst scenario regarding Houllier.

They are anxious to avoid a repeat of last summer when Martin O'Neill opted to leave five days before the season got under way, and if Houllier does have to go, Villa would look to bring in a replacement well before they report back for pre-season training in early July.

Meanwhile, sources close to Villa are playing down stories that Ashley Young's expected move to Manchester United has already been completed.

They are adamant any potential talks will not happen until after Saturday night's Champions League final.

Villa are resigned to Young leaving after his reluctance to sign a new contract.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

European News
Premier League
UEFA Champions League
Manchester United
Ashley Young
Aston Villa
Gary McAllister

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