By Paul Brown
Stewart Downing believes he's got a bright future ahead of him in claret and blue after expressing his desire to stay at Villa.
Downing has been the subject of tabloid speculation over the past few weeks, after a campaign which has earnt him three prestigious player of the season awards.
But he quashed rumours by revealing his agent is already in talks about extending his current deal.
The wing wizard hailed Villa as a massive club and said he sees the "bigger picture" after a difficult campaign.
He believes Villa have a bright future - and, importantly, he wants to be a part of it after pledging his allegiance.
He said: "I think there have been a couple of conversations already with my agent.
"I've already spoken to the manager who has said he'd like to keep me.
"I'm enjoying my stay here. I've enjoyed it since the first day I came. It's a terrific football club. It's fantastic they want me.
"There are terrific players here. I'm confident, despite this season, we're going in the right direction and if we get the right players in then I'm happy.
"The important thing in football is - if you're happy why change it? I know it's been a disappointing season, but I can see the bigger picture. It's great here.
"I've still got two years left on my contract and they've come to me with an offer.
"For a player that is brilliant because it gives you confidence that they have faith in you and that they reward people if they do well.
"If you see the young lads this season, they've all signed up to new deals so we're heading in the right direction.
"Darren Bent's has come here too. He's a big player and probably the main striker for England at the moment. I know he was desperate to come here.
"That's because it's a fantastic football club. It's massive. We all know it should be doing a lot better than this and we will."
On the newspaper speculation, he added: "I think it's part and parcel of being a player and doing well.
"Ever since I was young I've read the papers and it's said, 'You're going here, you're going there'.
"Half of it's not even true. It's just speculation. Obviously if you have a good season you get linked. But I'm happy here.
"I've had a good season and hopefully I can carry that on."
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