Carlos Cuellar to stay at Aston Villa

Carlos Cuellar is set to remain a Aston Villa player as injury looks like scuppering his £2m return to Rangers.

Carlos Cuellar is set to remain a Aston Villa player as injury looks like scuppering his £2m return to Rangers.

The Spanish defender’s representatives have been talking to Ibrox officials after Villa accepted a second bid for him last month.

But the 29-year-old will not be fully fit until the start of September after undergoing knee surgery at the end of the season and the timescale is giving Ibrox boss Ally McCoist second thoughts.

“You know what I think of Carlos – I’d be desperately keen to get Carlos but there are one or two other issues,” said McCoist.

“His injury is coming along fine, there’s no problem with that.

“It’s just the fact that he’s not ready to play right now that would be a definite problem for us.

“He’s been here before and he was terrific for us. I don’t see any major obstacles in the way at all.

“The only thing we have a problem with is that we need someone to play sooner rather than later.”

Villa were happy to sell the former Rangers man, who they paid the Glasgow giants £7.8m for in August 2008, because it frees a wage of around £35,000-a-week for a bit-part player in the final year of his contract.

Boss Alex McLeish has Richard Dunne, James Collins and Ciaran Clark but if, as looks likely, Rangers look elsewhere, then the Villa chief has more competition for the central defensive role.

Meanwhile, McLeish today revealed he could not be more motivated to make this season a success.

“As a player and as a manager I’ve given 100 per cent in everything I’ve done. You could offer me a £50m bonus but it wouldn’t make me try any harder,” he said.

“I am already working to my maximum.

“I know it is a results business and we have to get results and that is the bottom line. It has calmed down a bit and there has been some goodwill from Villa fans this week.”