We need to keep key men - Collins
Aston Villa, Updated:
James Collins is hoping Aston Villa keep hold of the likes of Ashley Young, Brad Friedel and Emile Heskey to boost them next season.
The Wales international defender has been aware of recent speculation that winger Young is being heavily linked with a close-season move to both Manchester United and Liverpool, as he has failed to agree a contract extension at Villa Park beyond summer 2012.
Veteran goalkeeper, Friedel, who is approaching his 40th birthday, is out of contract this summer and has yet to sign a new one-year offer on the table with his agent insisting he will wait until after the final game of the campaign this weekend before deciding his future, while Leicester are said to be plotting a swoop for 33-year-old striker Heskey.
But Collins feels that Villa would be better off keeping all three, not to mention midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker, who is also approaching the end of his Villa Park contract. However, much will depend on whether boss Gerard Houllier returns to the club following his recent heart scare.
Collins told the Express & Star: "We've got a fantastic squad here and all the players are doing a fantastic job, so we'd like to keep our best ones and move on next season.
"We have just been concentrating on the games, a lot of people behind the scenes and speaking to the manager, so I'm sure [caretaker boss] Gary McAllister will let us know soon what is going on."