Olof Mellberg appears to have his days at Villa Park numbered, especially now that it has been confirmed that Italian giants Juventus have indeed launched an official approach for the player.
In an interview to Sky Sports, Villa manager Martin 0’Neill has admitted for the first time that Juventus have asked permission to talk to the player. Mellberg’s contract with the Premiership side expires in the summer when he will be a free agent. Meanwhile he can also signed a pre-contract agreement with the Old Lady in January as per the regulations.
O’Neill tells Sky Sports:
Juventus have sent a letter through saying they want to speak to Olof. It is their prerogative. I am not even sure that they have to do that but at least they have made their intentions clear. They are well within their rights to do so. Olof has been here seven years. He has earned the right to do this. He wants to have a wee look around and it might not be anything to do with money. It might be an environmental thing. If someone like Juventus have shown an interest, and within six months of your contract running out, I think you have to explore every avenue. I don’t plague him every single day about these things. I just let him get on with it and he might come around to formulating some idea in his head of what he wants to do.
Seems like O’Neill already knows that Mellberg cannot be persuaded to remain at Villa Park any longer. But will Villa be able to replace him in the summer?