Juan Pablo Angel has been given the go-ahead to continue his career in the United States, after Aston Villa manager Martin O’Neill confirmed that he would aloow the Colombian striker to leave for Major League Soccer (MLS).
Angel is reported to be on the verge of agreeing a two-year contract with MLS outfit New York Red Bulls which would bring to an end his six-year stay at Villa.
The 31-year-old striker was the club’s record signing when he joined for £9.5m from Argentina’s River Plate in 2001.
But he has not been a first-team regular since O’Neill took over as manager last summer and Villa have since bought Norwegian striker John Carew and former Watford forward Ashley Young.
“Juan has a year left on his contract here and obviously we’re trying to re-structure,” O’Neill admitted.
“There are two transfer windows over in America and I wouldn’t stand in his way if he has the chance to extend his career.
“A few weeks ago I wouldn’t have considered it. We still needed points and John Carew was out injured. But John is on his way back and Luke Moore is also back.
“Juan has been really excellent since I came here to the football club in terms of being a real professional and I genuinely have nothing but praise for him.
“In the latter stages, perhaps he hasn’t played the number of games he would hope to but I thought earlier in the season he was excellent for us, led the line and did great.
“He lost his place in the side just after Christmas, but ever since then, his attitude has been great.
“Maybe now he feels the upper echelons of the Premiership might be eluding him, but there could be a great chance to start a new life in America.”