Report: Aston Villa set to secure Ciaran Clark to new long-term deal

The Republic of Ireland defender has been linked with a move to Midlands rivals West Bromwich Albion in recent weeks.

After securing Nathan Baker to a new long-term deal this week, Aston Villa look set to re-sign another homegrown defender.

According to the Birmingham Mail, Ciaran Clark is expected to agree fresh terms with the club ahead of the new season after attracting unwanted interest from West Bromwich Albion in recent weeks.

Clark, who has made 136 total appearances for Villa since earning his senior debut in August 209, has just another 11 month left to run on his current contract and, per the newspaper's report, was the subject of an approach from the Baggies last month.

However, the 25-year-old defender is now seen as a key piece in manager Tim Sherwood’s plans, having bounced back from a disappointing 2012-13 campaign to establish himself as one of the first names on the teamsheet last term.

 2014-15 Premier League PositionTeamErrors Lead To GoalTotal TacklesTackles AccuracyTotal ClearancesHeaders WonHeader SuccessInterceptionsPassing AccuracyAppearancesMins Played
Ciaran Clark DF Aston Villa 0 39 87% 200 76 64.96% 47 79% 25 1,991

The Republic of Ireland international featured just four times over the first few months of the season after falling behind Ron Vlaar, new signing Philippe Senderos, Nathan Baker and Jores Okore on the depth chart and was even linked with a loan move as a result [h/t Birmingham Mail].

However, he came into the line-up for November’s 1-1 home draw against Southampton due to a spate of defensive injuries and would build on a stellar showing to start all but two of the following 26 games.

Earning rave reviews in the process, the resurgent stopper was being touted as the leading candidate for the club's player of the season award heading into the run-in but saw his campaign cut cruelly short after suffering knee ligament damage in April’s 1-0 win at Tottenham Hotspur.

Nevertheless, he has since made a swift comeback and, after starting Villa’s final five pre-season fixtures, looks set to partner Micah Richards in the heart of defence come next weekend’s Premier League opener at Bournemouth.

If the reports are to be believed too, he could be taking to the Dean Cout pitch armed with a bumper new deal.

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