Turkish international defender Alpay Ozalan looks set to resume his Aston Villa career after patching up hisdifferences with manager Graham Taylor.
Alpay has played only four games this season, having been frozen out at Villa Park since criticising Taylor and demanding a transfer from the Premier League club.
But Taylor told the club’s website that the player had persuaded him to give the defender another chance.
“I’ve had a chat with ‘Alfie’ and he told me that he wanted to start all over again. That’s something I’ve always said I would be happy to do,” Taylor said on Thursday.
“You never say never in football and throughout this situation, I’ve always left the door open for ‘Alfie’.
“He has convinced me that he wants to start afresh, while at the same time understanding that he’s got a huge fight on his hands to regain a first-team place. So from here on in, the rest is up to him.”
Of reports linking him with a move to Real Madrid and Barcelona, Taylor admits that the speculation unsettled Alpay.
“All they did was unsettle him,’ added the Villa boss.
‘We have had two transfer windows since then and have not received a firm bid. He requested to leave but has had to face up to the fact that it is not going to be possible,” said the former England manager.