By Amir Mir

Stiliyan Petrov will not be offered an Aston Villa playing contract – but has been given the chance to stay on at the club in a different role, club have confirmed.

Manager Roberto Di Matteo paid warm tribute to the Bulgarian midfielder, who recently made a remarkable comeback three years after he was forced to retire with acute leukaemia.

The ex-Villa captain participated in the club’s pre-season tour of Austria but the Midlands outfit announced on Wednesday night that he has been unsuccessful in his bid to win a new playing contract.

“Stiliyan is an inspiration to all of us,” Di Matteo told the club’s official website. “I have spoken to him and explained my thoughts and offered him the chance to remain at the club.

“Stiliyan is going to discuss this with his family before coming back to us.”

Di Matteo recently singled out the ex-Celtic man as a standout player during their pre-season tour of Austria, describing Petrov as an example to others.

But,the Italian has had to make a difficult decision in regards to Petrov’s playing future as the club look to prepare for life in the second tier of English football.

In other Aston Villa team news, Di Matteo explains the difficulties which lie ahead as the new Championship season draws closer.