Aston Villa manager Martin O’Neill is ready to discuss a new contract with Martin Laursen when the defender returns from international duty.

The Dane has battled back from serious injury to recover full fitness and starred for Villa in Sunday’s 2-0 win over Chelsea.

He is currently away with Denmark as they prepare for European Championship qualifiers against Sweden and Liechtenstein, but when he gets back O’Neill wants to discuss new contract terms with Laursen’s current deal expiring at the end of this season.

"If Martin Laursen was fit, agile and 22, with that sort of attitude you’d be looking at giving him 10 years," O’Neill told

"He is proving himself here and I’ve got absolutely no problems sitting down and discussing the future with him. He knows that and I’ve already spoken to him. When he comes back from international duty, I’ll speak with him.

"Laursen has got a heart the size of a lion. His knees have sometimes been swollen, but he plays and never shirks anything. We expect Martin to win things in the air for us and when he heads the ball clear, it stays clear.

"He does really great and throws himself at everything. He’s been terrific for us and I’m very pleased with him."

The 30-year-old Laursen joined Villa from AC Milan in May 2004 but has made only 25 league starts in three years since then because of a succession of knee problems.

O’Neill added: "People weren’t sure if he’d ever be fit again. But Martin has done fantastically well to recover from his injuries and wants to play every game.

"He’s so committed. He would have been a player you would worry about coming through the games, but he has.

"Before the spring, he’d only played intermittently for us, but he’s capable of playing Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday and feeling much stronger."