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Last Updated: Sunday, 20 February, 2005, 12:52 GMT
Hitzlsperger fears for Villa deal
Aston Villa midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger
Aston Villa midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger fears the club may not be able to afford to keep him.

Hitzlsperger, 22, who recently broke into the German squad, has made little progress after opening talks with boss David O'Leary over a new contract.

He told the News of the World: "The boss wants me to stay but is worried his budget won't run to it.

"I want the best package, which includes club, manager and prospects and it doesn't matter where."

Hitzlsperger's current contract expires at the end of the season and he is keen to get his future sorted out with the World Cup looming.

Having broken into Jurgen Klinsmann's squad he is keen to cement a place for the tournament in his home country.

If talks with Villa break down the former Bayern Munich trainee would not rule out a return to Germany, with Hamburg and Stuttgart said to be monitoring Hitzlsperger's situation closely.

He said: "The World Cup is just around the corner and obviously players in the Bundesliga get noticed more.

"But I'd like to stay on at Villa if the conditions are right. I want to play for a club that can help progress my career."

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