Chris Herd signs long-term Aston Villa deal

Aston Villa midfielder Chris Herd has agreed a new four-year contract, keeping him at Villa Park until 2015.

The 22-year-old Australian, who can also play in defence, has made nine appearances for Villa this season.

He told the club website  : "I am really happy to have signed a new contract and I'm pleased I'm going to be here for the next four years.

"Coming through the ranks the fans have been great for me and I really appreciate it."

Herd made his Villa debut in the 2-2 home draw with Manchester United last season, having previously spent time on loan at Port Vale , Wycombe and Lincoln City .

Prior to this season he had mainly been deployed at either full-back or centre-half but has made the majority of his appearances this season in central midfield.

He is currently sidelined with an ankle injury.

Meanwhile, Villa have recalled Gary Gardner from his loan spell at struggling Championship side Coventry City.