Patrik Berger will put pen to paper on a new 12-month contract with Aston Villa when he returns to pre-season training next week - and is tipping the club to challenge for Europe next season.
The former Liverpool midfielder impressed Villa manager Martin O’Neill with his performances during the second half of last season.
It was in stark contract to events before Christmas when Berger’s days at Villa looked numbered when he refused to play in a reserve team match and was loaned out to Stoke.
He said: "We have had a new owner and a new manager in the past 12 months and several new players so it’s an exciting time for the club. We have a new training ground and, in my opinion, everything is moving forward.
"I’m sure Martin O’Neill will be bringing in some really good players so it looks set to be an interesting time. In my opinion this club will be challenging for a spot in Europe next season. I think it’s really going places."
O’Neill, meanwhile, has laughed-off reports that he considered loaning Berger out to League One outfit Oldham.
He said: "It’s the first I’ve heard about it. Patrik Berger has agreed a new one-year contract and I’m delighted about that.
"There’s no chance of him being sent out on-loan - absolutely no chance of that.
"He did enough over the last few months of the season to earn another deal and he’s very much in our plans for next season. I just don’t know where that story came from."