Aston Villa manager Martin O’Neill has told striker Juan Pablo Angel he will not stand in his way if he has the chance to play in Major League Soccer in America.
Angel is understood to be on the verge of agreeing a two-year contract with New York Red Bulls.
It will mean the end of Angel’s six-year stay at Villa in which he became the club’s record signing at #9.5million when he signed from River Plate early in 2001.
O’Neill said: "Juan has a year left on his contract here and obviously we’re trying to re-structure.
"There are two transfer windows over in America and I wouldn’t stand in his way if he has the chance to extend his career.
"A few weeks ago I wouldn’t have considered it. We still needed points and John Carew was out injured. But John is on his way back and Luke Moore is also back.
"Juan has been really excellent since I came here to the football club in terms of being a real professional and I genuinely have nothing but praise for him.
"In the latter stages, perhaps he hasn’t played the number of games he would hope to but I thought earlier in the season he was excellent for us, led the line and did great.
"He lost his place in the side just after Christmas, but ever since then, his attitude has been great.
"Maybe now he feels the upper echelons of the Premiership might be eluding him, but there could be a great chance to start a new life in America."
Angel has had an up and down career at Villa with his best season in 2003-2004 when he notched 23 goals.
He has netted seven times this season but has gradually slipped down the pecking order after a bright start to the current campaign as the sole striker in a 4-5-1 formation.