O'Neill rubbishes rumours of Carew switch to Turkey

Norway international still 'integral part of the side' insists Villa manager

Martin O'Neill insists Aston Villa striker John Carew remains a key part of his plans amid speculation linking him with a January move to Fenerbahce. Carew's representatives are reported to have held talks with the Turkish club over a possible move for the Norway international.

But O'Neill has stressed that Carew has a key part still to play at Villa despite struggling to reproduce his best form on a consistent basis this season. O'Neill said of the mooted deal: "I've no idea about that at all. Absolutely not – but it's that time of year again coming up. There's nothing in it.

"I haven't spoken to John or his agent about it. He's played in Turkey before and I'm sure that won't be the only link to one of our players this season. I've not even bothered to chase it up.

"We're at a really important stage and John is very important to us. I would be pretty loath to be losing players. John has been an integral part of the side, he's done very well and I want a bit of genuine competition for places, which I think I have at the moment – maybe not everywhere but in a number of areas."

The central defender James Collins is making good progress after being out of action for the past three weeks with groin and calf problems, and could return to training today. O'Neill said: "James is improving. He still hasn't done any work with us yet but I'm hoping he'll be able to join in, maybe with a bit of luck, on Thursday.

"He's feeling much, much better. The groin seems to have eased a great deal and the calf problem he suffered seems to be not bad at all. He has done some running on his own today under the guidance of the physios. He's had a great start here and these injuries have been particularly frustrating for him."

Left-back Wilfred Bouma, who has not tasted first-team action for 17 months, has suffered another injury setback. Bouma, who dislocated an ankle in July 2008 during an Intertoto Cup tie with Odense, is now out with a toe problem.

O'Neill said: "Freddie had a bit of a setback with a toe injury. He has gone to see a specialist who is recommending we immobilise it for a week or two and see how that works. It probably should do the trick. But again it's been a setback for him and it's been a rather frustrating time for him. We will see how he is in a couple of weeks."

The Croatia midfielder Luka Modric cannot wait to return to action for Tottenham after making a return from a fractured leg with the reserves, playing 70 minutes of a training ground friendly against Grays Athletic.

Manager Harry Redknapp was an interested spectator and Modric hopes his recovery will soon see him back in action with the first team. Modric said: "I did not feel any pain and that is the most important thing. It is great to be back. It is a relief after three months. I can't wait to play again. I will take it step by step and I'll have to see now when the manager decides to put me back in the squad."

Spurs are fourth in the Premier League, and Modric feels there are plenty of reasons to be positive. He said: "We have a great team, a great squad, lots of quality players. We have plenty of options and that's positive. I hope we can keep it going."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
The male menopause: those affected can suffer hot flushes, night sweats, joint pain, low libido, depression and an increase in body fat, among other symptoms
voicesSo the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Anna Smaill’s debut novel, The Chimes, is a fusion of fantasy and romance
booksMan Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Sport
Ji So-Yun scores the only goal of the game
sport
Arts and Entertainment
One of the Pyongyang posters, the slogan of which reads: ‘Let the exploits of the northern railway conductors shine!’
art
Life and Style
Linguine with mussels and fresh tomatoes
food + drink
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen
RuPaul interview: The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head

RuPaul interview

The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head
Secrets of comedy couples: What's it like when both you and your partner are stand-ups?

Secrets of comedy couples

What's it like when both you and your partner are stand-ups?
Satya Nadella: As Windows 10 is launched can he return Microsoft to its former glory?

Satya Nadella: The man to clean up for Windows?

While Microsoft's founders spend their billions, the once-invincible tech company's new boss is trying to save it
The best swimwear for men: From trunks to shorts, make a splash this summer

The best swimwear for men

From trunks to shorts, make a splash this summer