Bruce Rioch: 'Aston Villa must offer stars new deals'

Christian Benteke celebrates scoring the winner for Aston Villa on November 27, 2012
© PA Photos
Bruce Rioch believes that Aston Villa must offer their best players long-term contracts.

Former Aston Villa player Bruce Rioch has said that the club must secure the futures of their prized assets by offering them long-term contracts.

Christian Benteke is reportedly a target for Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur following an impressive debut season in the Premier League, while fellow striker Andreas Weimann has 18 months remaining on his current deal.

Rioch hopes that Villa do not suffer another exodus of top players, with the likes of Gareth Barry, Ashley Young and James Milner all having left Villa Park in recent years.

He told the Birmingham Mail: "Villa have lost so many good players in recent years. I hope that is not the case again this summer.

"I would say tie them up quickly for the long term and get enough points to stay up. Bill Shankly told me you should never let players get into the last two years of their contract if you want them at the club a long time."

Villa are currently 18th in the Premier League.

Christian Benteke is congratulated by team mate Simon Dawkins after scoring the opener against West Ham on February 10, 2013
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