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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 April 2007, 09:56 GMT 10:56 UK
Gardner ready to sign Villa deal
Aston Villa midfielder Craig Gardner
Gardner has played 18 first-team games for Villa
Aston Villa midfielder Craig Gardner says he is willing to commit his long-term future to Aston Villa.

The 20-year-old signed a three-year contract in the summer of 2006 but Villa boss Martin O'Neill is reportedly ready to offer him a new improved deal.

Gardner said: "I've read things about maybe being offered a new contract.

"It is nice that the manager thinks that much of me and hopefully I can prove it out on the pitch for him. I want to stay here as long as I can."

Gardner made his Villa debut against Everton in December 2005 and has scored one goal in 18 senior games for the club.

It would be great to stay in the side and we now want to kick on and cement a place in the top 10

Craig Gardner

"I initially signed for Villa when I was only 15 and these last five years since then have been the best days of my life," added Gardner.

"I am a Villa fan through and through, I came through the ranks here and nothing can get better than playing for the club you have always supported.

"I am here under the current contract until 2009 but, if the manager wants to offer me a new one, I won't say no."

Gardner has earned a regular place in O'Neill's side in recent weeks and is keen to continue in the first team.

"It's good to have a run of first-team games. It's like a dream really. Hopefully this time it won't end and I'll keep on playing and playing," stated Gardner.

"It would be great to stay in the side and we now want to kick on and cement a place in the top 10 and get as many points as we can from the last few games."

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