Aston Villa manager Martin O’Neill has moved quickly to warn La Liga Champions Real Madrid off winger Ashley Young, with the former Celtic boss insisting that Young “is certainly not for sale”.
23-year-old Young had become the latest Premier League player wanted by former Tottenham Hotspur manager Juande Ramos, who is now in charge of Los Merengues, with a £25million swoop for the former Watford player in January being mooted by the new Bernabeu boss.
Ramos is keen to add some fresh faces to his injury deleted squad at Real, with his former charges at Spurs, Roman Pavlyuchenko, Didier Zokora, David Bentley and Aaron Lennon also reportedly on the Ramos radar.
Young however, will not be leaving the Villans, according to O’Neill, who managed to keep hold of Liverpool target Gareth Barry in the summer, with the Irishman also revealing that he didn’t “know anything about” the interest from the Spanish side.
Talking to the official club site O’Neill said “I don't know anything about it but he's certainly not for sale.”
England International Young joined Villa from Watford in 2007 for £9.75million, with the winger scoring 16 goals in 75 appearances while at Villa Park and also chipping in with 28 assists. Young along with Villa captain Martin Laursen, Barry, James Milner and striker Gabriel Agbonlahor are all due to be left in England for the Midlands club crunch UEFA Cup tie in Hamburg on Wednesday.