Steve Bruce says Aston Villa will open contract talks with defender Alan Hutton,
regardless of what division they will be playing in next season.
Villa play Fulham at Wembley in the Championship play-off final on Saturday, live on Sky, as they look to return to the Premier League after a two-year absence.
Hutton has played a key role in Villa’s promotion challenge this campaign, with boss Bruce describing him as a “manager’s delight.”
A Villa vs Fulham
May 26, 2018, 4:00pm
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The 34-year-old Scot is out of contract in the summer but is in line to be rewarded with a new deal after reviving his career under Bruce.
“I think I’ve picked Alan Hutton more than anybody else,” said the Villa boss. “He is everything that I enjoy in a player. He gives you everything he’s got. At 34 years old he is quite magnificent in terms of his fitness.
“He works like a beast, always first in – a manager’s delight. If anyone deserves a contract, it’s Alan Hutton.
“I can confirm to you now we will be talking to him next week, whichever division we are in. He deserves it. Playing left-back has probably enhanced him a bit. It’s slowed him down a bit, he has to come back on his right foot to play. But since we moved him there he’s gone to a different level.”
Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce explains why he has been delighted with how the Championship play-off final has been scheduled
Bruce, who is targeting his fifth promotion as a manager and his third through the play-offs, says the club will have to look after players like Hutton should they be successful on Saturday and get back into the Premier League.
“We have got to be like any other promoted Championship club if we manage to get there, we’ve got to now take the next step of building again to stay in the Premier League,” said Bruce.
“When I see Leicester spending £22.5m on a right-back, giving him 80 grand a week, I look and think “Wow”. And that’s Leicester. That’s what it is now.
“It’s big bucks and big finances for new players, that’s the way it is.”