United States goalkeeper Brad Guzan has revealed his desire to sign for Aston Villa this summer after hailing the managerial qualities of Martin O’Neill.
Guzan was poised to move from Chivas USA in a £2m deal during the January transfer window before being refused a work permit.
He is now close to playing the necessary games for his country required to secure Home Office approval and came on as a substitute during Wednesday’s friendly international with England at Wembley.
Guzan is keen to link up with O’Neill after being impressed with the former Celtic boss during a trial spell four months ago at Bodymoor Heath.
Guzan said: “Hopefully there will be more interest from Aston Villa in the summer. Right now I couldn't tell you the specifics because my focus is with the national team.
“My agent has been handling all the discussions and nothing can really happen until the window opens anyway. I am letting him deal with that and, if something comes about, then great.
“I would love to sign for Villa. When I was there a few months back, it was an absolutely brilliant time – great people, great facilities and I couldn’t say one bad thing about the place.
“When the window opens, we will see what happens. Hopefully there is some interest and we will go from there. It looks like exciting times at Villa.”
Guzan added: “When I met Martin O’Neill at the end of January he was a fabulous guy, a great person. The entire staff were outstanding.
“It is about the whole way he carries himself as a manager. To have a guy like Martin O’Neill saying good things about you, it makes you feel good as a player.
“As a person it makes me feel good to have that interest from such a well-respected manager. The first time I was there I spent 12 hours with the players in the locker room and it was outstanding.
“Being among good people who understand the game of football and are people who able to put players out on the pitch to compete week-in, week-out, that is important to me and that is what I want to be involved in.
“Like I said, with regards to Martin O’Neill in the summer, I hope that something happens but we will cross that bridge when the time comes. Hopefully it all goes well. Hopefully I will be able to sign.”