Exclusive: Friedel considering MLS move after agreeing to terminate Villa contract talks
Published 11:44 04/12/10 By James Nursey
Brad Friedel has told Aston Villa he is willing to leave in January if the club sign a new keeper after his contract talks were put on hold.
US shot-stopper Friedel, 39, is one of Villa's big earners on over £40,000-a-week after joining from Blackburn in July 2008.
His contract is up in the summer and Friedel is considering his future with a player-coach offer on the table from his local MLS side Columbus Crew.
New Villa boss Gerard Houllier has already started looking at new keepers and Rangers' Allan McGregor,28, is a target.
Villa and Friedel have held initial talks about extending his deal at the club after Houllier previously suggested he would keep the ace.
But those contract discussions have now been put on hold in the best interest of both parties.
Friedel, who has made nearly 250 consecutive Premier League appearances, wants to see how his body holds up as he is 40 in May.
While the club are considering their options with Manchester United back-up shot-stopper Tomasz Kuszczak, 28, is also under consideration.
A source said: "Brad is a reasonable man who has had a great career.
"He knows he is 40 next year and the club need to get at least one new goalkeeper but he is not being forced out."
Villa have now given Friedel's name to agents to assess interest in the veteran, whose family are settled in Alderley Edge.
Villa owner Randy Lerner is determined to cut the club's £70m wage bill.
The club have told defender Habib Beye, who earns £40,000-a-week, that he can leave and flop Stephen Ireland may go too.
Mirrorsport revealed on October 14 that Curtis Davies was going on loan to Leicester and on October 29 that John Carew, who earns £52,500-a-week, can leave.