Aston Villa have been slow to open talks with Fabian Delph over a new deal during the summer, but the midfielder’s England recognition looks to have at last spurred the club into action.
Delph, 24, is entering the final season of his current contract, but reports claim that new Villa chief executive Tom Fox is putting together a package which will tie his future down to the club long-term, with manager Paul Lambert confident an agreement can be reached despite wage bill restrictions.
It marks a remarkable 18-month turnaround for the Bradford-native, who, after joining from Leeds United in August 2009 for around £6 million, saw injuries blight his first few seasons in the midlands.
The 2013-14 campaign was something of a renaissance for former under-21 international, however, with his 33 appearances earning widespread praise, and prompting Lambert to tip him for his first senior call-up.
That honour duly arrived this month, with Delph going on to make his debut for Roy Hogdson's side as a 69th-minute substitute in Wednesday’s 1-0 friendly win over Norway at Wembley, before earning his first start in Monday’s opening Euro 2016 qualifier away to Switzerland, which saw the Three Lions claim a 2-0 win in Basel.
His performance in the latter fixture receiving particular praise in the national media, a rising reputation is sure to see interest from so-called bigger clubs materialise if an agreement isn't reached over the coming months, despite stressing his desire to commit his future to Villa Park on several occasions in the past.
Such links have still to surface at this point but, nevertheless, Villa would be wise to get talks going over a new contract as soon as possible, in order to avoid a potential disaster further down the line.