Gabby Agbonlahor is considering retiring from football this summer when his Aston Villa contract expires.
That’s according to the Sun , who claim that the attacker is thinking of hanging up his boots amid a range of offers to continue playing.
Agbonlahor, still only 31, has scored 86 goals for the claret and blues in just shy of 400 appearances since he broke through in 2006.
Manager Steve Bruce has confirmed recently that Agbonlahor will not be handed a new contract, regardless of which division Villa are in next season.
“I think it’s time,” Bruce said of Agbonlahor’s contract situation, at the end of last month. “I had a conversation with him about six weeks ago. I think it’s time for Gabby to move on.
“I have to say that in the last month or so he’s trained like a beast. I think the time is probably right. The question for Gabby is: what’s he going to do next? He’s probably been institutionalised by the club, he’s been a wonderful servant.
“Yes, he’s had a few down moments but he’s had a lot of ups. If you look at the first 10 years of his career here he’s a young lad playing up front for England, playing week in week out in the big league, he’s been a good player that’s for sure.
“I wish him the best of luck. He’s been very, very good for me here. It’s a shame he’s picked up two bad injuries which has set him back.”
The forward is thought to be the target of a number of MLS clubs, who could offer a possibility of revitalising his career in the States.
But retirement, even at just 31, is reportedly in his thinking too.
Agbonlahor hasn’t featured Villa, largely because of injury, since December. He’s scored once this season, in the opening day draw against Hull.
He won’t be alone in heading for the exit door this summer – the futures of Alan Hutton, John Terry, Ross McCormack and Micah Richards are all to come under consideration in the close season.
Portman Road verdict
We’re the famous Aston Villa and we’re going to Wembley. Wembley…Wembley.’
That was the chant from the away end as Villa battered Ipswich 4-0 at Portman Road.
The fans have accepted the automatic promotion race is as good as over.
For the record, it isn’t. But another win for Cardiff will end it. Officially that is, and that’s without even mentioning Fulham.
Villa left themselves too much to do after a disappointing March when they slipped up at Bolton and Hull.
So it’s on to the play-offs, the knock-out competition that many people describe as a ‘lottery’.
I’m not buying that by the way. The play-offs are about who wants it the most. Calling it a lottery is an easy get-out.
So if Villa want it more than their semi-final opponents, promotion will be decided by a Wembley showpiece, just as the fans were calling for on Saturday.
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That’s the overall aim this term and what better way to do it than at Wembley? Villa battered Ipswich to secure a top-four finish and in some ways that marks progress.
Remember, this time last year Villa we’re dead and buried for another campaign. They wanted the season over.
Holidays were booked and long days on the beach planned. But this term there has been no let-up.
Villa have been under pressure to win every game they’ve faced since the turn of the year.
There’s been no such thing as a dead rubber. Not even at this late stage of the season.
Providing Derby – who are dropping like a stone – get something against Cardiff, Villa will face the same brief on Saturday when they face they struggling Rams.
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Put simply, they need to keep on winning and hope the teams above them slip-up.
Cranking up the intensity levels is a good thing and it should give Steve Bruce’s troops an advantage going into the play-offs.
On top of that, they’ve hit form at a good time after a wobble in March.
It’s crazy to think that only a month ago Villa we’re losing to Bolton in the snow, yet at Ipswich some players suffered from sunburn!
The next two games – against Derby and Millwall – could well be a taster of what Villa will get in the play-offs.
Both sides are battling for fifth and sixth and could end up taking either, or none at all.
All Villa need to do it see out the games and remained focused regardless of their outcome.
Whatever happens, there’s a crunch set of fixtures on the horizon. Whether that be two, four or five games before they pack up for some more sun before the World Cup.
Source : BirminghamMail