Date: 13th January 2006 at 12:34pm
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David O’Leary has – quite rightly – told Ulises de la Cruz that he is going nowhere for free.

The versatile right back / winger has asked if he can leave in order to push his claims for a World Cup place for Ecuador. However O’Leary has spelt out that Villa aren’t a charity and won’t allow the player to leave in the January transfer window without a fee.

He has only made two starts and two sub appearances this season. He said a month back to Sky Sports ‘I have loved my time at Aston Villa, but now I feel it is the right time for me to leave. I am not looking to move for money or anything like that – anything but that. I just need to be playing first team football. I know I am still capable of doing a job at Premiership level, but I also need to think about Ecuador.’

DLC, who joined Villa from Hibernian for £1.5million in the summer of 2002 making 85 league appearances, has more than five months left on his contract.

Leeds, Celtic and Rangers have been linked, as have some clubs abroad. But Villa will want a fee of around £250 000 and O’Leary told the Mail:

‘How could we give him a free transfer now? What club would allow him to leave now? Have you ever heard of anybody doing that? He’s got five months on his contract which is still half the season. We haven’t exactly got a great deal of numbers, so anybody with half a season on their contract and then we tell them to just go away – it doesn’t happen.’

Adding ‘That’s fantasy – that’s dreamland stuff.’