By Harvey Byrne
Aston Villa have handed new contracts to six youngsters within the Villains youth ranks while goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini is expected to sign within the next 24 hours.
The Villa Park club have announced on their official club website on Wednesday afternoon that they have secured the signatures of several of their young stars.
Hong Kong 7s-winning captain Khalid Abdo has agreed new deals with the Midlands club alongside Jerell Sellars, Rory Hale, Jozef Pastbrek, Joe Linley and Mitchell Clark.
Abdo is highly regarded in the Villa youth academy and skippered the youth team to success in Hong Kong, seeing off a host of teams to lift the prestigious trophy for the sixth time.
The midfielder also won player of the tournament after several impressive displays in a very young squad.
21-year-old shot stopper Gollini has also agreed personal terms with the Villains ahead of a £4.1million move from Hellas Verona this summer.
Roberto Di Matteo met with the Italy Under-20 international over the weekend to outline his plans for the future and Gollini was said to have been impressed.
The 6ft 2in keeper came through the ranks at Manchester United before returning to his homeland in 2014 and now could become Aston Villa’s first choice goalkeeper.
Di Matteo has been eyeing a move for a new keeper after noting the poor performances of both Brad Guzan and Mark Bunn this season.
Gollini made 27 appearances in all competitions this season as Verona were relegated from Serie A and despite still having three years on his current contract, may be tempted by a move to the Championship.
In other Aston Villa news, Birmingham are keen on signing Kieran Richardson just days after he was released by Aston Villa.