Date: 4th February 2008 at 5:04pm
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Martin O’Neill has explained that the club have a verbal agreement to look at extending Routledge’s contract in the summer if he impresses.

The player only had 18 months left on his deal at Spurs, so Villa have offered the same but have already agreed to revisit the issue in the summer if he impresses in games.

Speaking on the official site, Martin O’Neill explained:

‘Wayne had got 18 months to run of his deal at Tottenham and, while I think he is very capable, at the same time I just didn’t really want to imprison him here.

‘He feels himself that 18 months is sufficient for him. We have come to a mutual agreement amongst ourselves and it is up to him.

‘All he is looking for is a proper chance and I genuinely hope he gets it.

‘If people keep him out of the team for months and he is starved of football, it might mean we are doing pretty well and that is the way I hope it would be.

‘But effectively there is an opportunity here for Wayne and, if he is doing well, I will be the first one in the summer to look at the situation again and say ‘I’d love you here for the next three years’.

‘It is a challenge but Wayne is really up for it. He has been pretty adamant about it and that is what I was looking for.’