David O'Leary is prepared to put talks with Aston Villa over a new contract on hold until next summer, unless the matter is satisfactorily resolved within the next few days.

O'Leary is keen to put pen to paper on a new three-and-a-half year deal which would keep him at Villa Park until the summer of 2008.

However, he is aware that negotiations have been dragging on for nearly two months and knows that situation cannot continue.

The Dubliner, who has 18 months left of his current deal, is determined that his back-up staff of assistant manager Roy Aitken and fitness coach Steve McGregor will be given similar length contracts before he agrees to sign.

The pair are currently in negotiations with chairman Doug Ellis and that will hold the key to whether there is a swift and satisfactory conclusion to the matter.

O'Leary, whose side entertain Liverpool tomorrow, said:  "Hopefully I can conclude the contract situation over the next few days - one way or the other.

"It's been dragging on for seven or eight weeks now and people keep asking about it.

"I think one way or the other in the next few days we'll either make a decision to sign it or we will just continue on with the 18 months we've got left."