Lambert not worried by Weimann situation

Paul Lambert has played down fears that Andreas Weimann's head will be turned by talks over his contract during Aston Villa's tense survival run-in.

The in-form Austria international has less than 18 months left on his current deal and there have been reports that negotiations over an extension have hit a stumbling block.

Lambert, however, is dismissive of suggestions that there are serious distractions in the mind of a player who represents one of Villa's biggest hopes of avoiding the drop.

"We're still talking with Andi," Lambert said. "I've spoken to him numerous times on this and it's fine. He's focused on the games here. He's still under contract and I don't think he will walk away. He has been very good and is concentrating on the next 11 games."

Weimann, scorer of the goal that went close to bringing Villa a point at Arsenal last weekend, this week tweeted that talks with the club are on-going - some reassurance for fans worried that his camp were seeking a deal beyond the side’s means.

Monday night's home game against Manchester City marks the return of Gareth Barry and James Milner to Villa Park, but Lambert refuses to see that as a depressing reminder that the club now struggle to hang onto their best players.

"With wages, you can't be taken for something that's not there," he said. "You can't influence what another club are going to do (in terms of an offer). You just need to be focused on your own club, so I don't take too much notice of the talk.

"Ask Gareth Barry and James Milner and I'm sure they loved their time here. But football moves on. How do you try to keep your best young players? You try to get in their heads and tell them what you think. Andi [Weimann] and Christian Benteke are really young lads. They aren't at the age Barry and Milner were when they moved. Do they want to go to a bigger side where they might be sat in the reserves?"