- Premier League
Lambert hopeful of four more years from Weimann
Paul Lambert remains hopeful Aston Villa will be able to persuade Andreas Weimann to sign a long-term contract with the club.
The Villa manager has seen negotiations over a new four-year deal with Weimann, 21, stall because the Austria international is reportedly unhappy with the terms on offer from club owner Randy Lerner.
The forward has less than 18 months to run on his existing contract, which is worth a reported £15,000-a-week, but is understood to have turned down what his representatives claim was a "disappointing" offer to extend his stay.
Villa plan to hold further talks with Weimann between now and the end of the season and feel confident they can keep the player who joined them as a 16-year-old. Lambert insists the two parties are still negotiating and the situation is still positive, but much is likely to depend upon whether the club can avoid relegation this season.
"It would be great for the long term if Andreas signs. We're still talking at the minute so we'll see what happens there," Lambert said. "The way he conducts himself on the pitch and in training is excellent. He has been really on top of his game and taken his chance in the first team."
Weimann has stated he is happy to stay, but relegation from the Premier League, so soon after breaking into the Austrian national team, could affect his international future in the build-up to next year's World Cup.
The former Rapid Vienna man has been one of Lambert's most consistent performers in a difficult campaign and has claimed ten goals in his breakthrough season with the club - bringing him to the attention of several European sides.
Weimann struggled to make an impact with former managers Alex McLeish and Gerrard Houllier, but he has flourished this season under Lambert's policy of introducing younger players in an attempt to build solid foundations for the future.
Unhappy with the circulating reports about his contract status, Weimann later took to Twitter in an attempt to clarify his position.
"The reports in the papers about rejecting the contract are not true," Weimann wrote. "I've always been happy here, and talks are still ongoing."