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Aston Villa to decide future of out-of-contract players once January window closes

Villa will begin deciding the future of their out-of-contract stars next month ahead of a potentially major summer overhaul.

Glenn Whelan (left) is one of several players out of contract. Photo: Dave Birt.
Glenn Whelan (left) is one of several players out of contract. Photo: Dave Birt.

Glenn Whelan, Mile Jedinak and Alan Hutton are among those players whose deals are due to expire at the end of the season.

Defensive duo Tommy Elphick and Ritchie De Laet are also out of contract, while Micah Richards is expected to leave the club, having not played since October 2016.

Villa are currently putting all of their efforts into strengthening during the January window, with boss Dean Smith eager to add at least a left-back and central midfielder before next week’s deadline.

But the club will quickly switch focus to the long-term and the out-of-contract players once the window closes.

Smith explained: “January is our month to do deals, to strengthen the squad.

“There will be players out of contract at the end of the season and once the window is over, our sporting director (Jesus Garcia Pitarch) will look at whether we are extending them or not. It’s a conversation for after the window closes.”

Reducing the average age and cost of the playing squad is a cornerstone of the club’s long-term policy.

Teenage striker Jack Birch last week became the latest academy star to sign a professional deal.

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