Gary Cahill is ready to sit down and commit his future to Aston Villa after enjoying a successful end to his frustrating, injury-hit season.
The 20-year-old defender became embroiled in a contract row after it was claimed he had not been picked by manager David O'Leary because he had refused to sign a new deal.
But Cahill's status among Villa fans has soared rapidly as a result of his spectacular goal against Birmingham City last month. And, having refused to let himself be distracted by negotiations at a time when he was trying to cement his place in the Villa team, he is now keen to talk.
"I always said we'd leave it until the end of season as I just wanted to concentrate on my football," said Cahill. "And that's stood me in good stead over the last six games.
"But now it's finished, I don't see any snags at all. I'm more than happy here and I hope I can go and have consistently good games for the club for years to come.
"I realise there's going to be competition for places next season whoever the gaffer brings in, but I'd like to do what Steven Davis has done and establish myself as a first team regular."
Cahill marked his sixth consecutive start in a Villa shirt with another of his over-head kick specialities. On the down side was another booking - his third in those six games, a rate of cautions that needs slowing down if he is not to spend too much time sidelined.
"That's the sort of player I am," said Cahill. "If I see the ball to be there I like to take it."
He is keen to try and emulate the likes of England's John Terry as a fair but uncompromising defender. "He's the player I'd like to match. He's no nonsense, he performs to that level week in, week out and he's the sort every centre half should model themselves on him."
It was only Villa skipper Olof Mellberg's surprise absence that meant Cahill being partnered by match winner Liam Ridgewell, recalled after being left out last week at Anfield.
"I didn't know until today we were playing together," said Cahill, "so it was a bit of a surprise. But it was no problem as I've played plenty of games with Ridge before."
Although Mellberg and Milan Baros may have played their last game for Villa if either moves on this summer, unlike last week's questionable decision to substitute his top scorer Baros at half-time when Villa were still not safe, O'Leary had no qualms about leaving his star foreign duo out.
"I wanted to play the lads that weren't playing in the World Cup," said O'Leary. "I didn't want to risk Ollie Mell-berg getting injured and having that on my conscience. It was the same with Milan." ..SUPL: