WANDERERS are locked in talks with Aston Villa to ensure that Stephen Warnock will not be playing his final game for the club this weekend.
The full-back faces a demoralising return to Villa Park after Saturday’s visit to Peterborough United unless a deal can be struck to extend the emergency loan he signed in September.
Warnock has been a big hit at the Reebok but has been told in no uncertain terms by Paul Lambert that he has no future back in the Midlands, with the club already well-stocked in the left back department.
Eric Lichaj, Joe Bennett and Enda Stevens are all ahead of him in the Premier League pecking order, which would most likely mean a return to training with the reserves, which is the situation he found himself in before his arrival in the North West. Efforts by Villa to attract a buyer for £2million in January have thus far proved fruitless, and with just six months remaining on his contract, Lambert may be willing to cut his losses entirely.
Wanderers have already ruled out a purchase but would be willing to extend their loan, potentially for a greater share of the player’s wages, until the end of the season.
Villa are no longer under pressure from owner Randy Lerner to curb their wage bill, having trimmed the likes of Alan Hutton, James Collins, Carlos Cuellar and Habib Beye in the last four months and brought through a crop of younger talent.
Warnock has made 14 appearances and missed only one game, against Ipswich Town, when he was replaced by the club’s only other out-and-out left-back, Marcos Alonso.
He also passed the 350 career appearance mark against Huddersfield Town on December 8.