Aston Villa fight to keep winger Ashley Young

Ashley Young (l) & Nigel Reo-Coker
Villa are eager to keep hold of Young (l) & Reo-Coker

Aston Villa caretaker manager Gary McAllister has said the club will do "everything" they can to keep England winger Ashley Young.

The 25-year-old, who has one year left on his contract, has been linked with a move to Manchester United.

"I don't think it's inevitable Ashley will go. We will do everything we can to keep him here," McAllister said.

The Scot added that the club will hold talks with midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker, who is out of contract in the summer.

Young has blossomed into a full England international at Aston Villa, but is yet to play in the Champions League.

And McAllister, who had a taste of Europe's top club competition at the end of his career with Liverpool, said he understood the attraction of joining a top-four club.

"The grass is also not always greener somewhere else but we are not silly. We have to be realistic," he commented.

"All players have ambition to play in the Champions League. We can't give them that. It's a goal but we all know how difficult it is to get up there.

"You can always understand the lure of playing in that competition. I managed to get a touch of it as a balding old man and it is a great experience."

McAllister, who is deputising for boss Gerard Houllier while he recovers from illness, added that Reo-Coker's contract situation was also high on his agenda.

The Scot stated: "We spoke the last time in November, December but we're fully aware of the situation and we'll be looking to speak to Nigel over the next two or three weeks.

"He's a player who's been very committed since we've arrived, when he's been in the team and out of the team.

"He's actually won his place in the team by the way he's gone about his training in the week and I applaud that."