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Tuesday, 11 February, 2003, 10:46 GMT
Balaban eyes Villa return
Bosko Balaban
Balaban has three years left on Villa contract
Bosko Balaban has revealed his desire to return to Aston Villa and prove that he can be a Premiership force.

Balaban joined Villa for 6m from Dinamo Zagreb 18 months ago, but returned to the Croatian club on loan last summer after failing to make a single league start for the Midlands outfit.

This season the Croatian international has scored 12 goals and, with three years still to run on his current Villa contract, wants manager Graham Taylor to have a re-think.

Balaban said: "I would not say that I am a better player now. I am the same player who is getting regular football and my form has improved as a result.

"I play alongside Ivica Olic in both the national side and the Zagreb side.

"He has helped my game and a lot of European clubs are watching him - so maybe they'll see me too.

"But that's not in my thoughts as I still want to come back to Aston Villa. That is still the plan.

"I shall return in the summer and see what Villa have to say. The final word will be theirs but I would like to go back and play."

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