By Harvey Byrne

Chairman Tony Xia revealed on Twitter that Stiliyan Petrov failed to earn a contract at Aston Villa due to midfielder growing older.

The former Villa player, who recently beat his battle with leukaemia, trained with the team over the summer and played in the summer tour of Austria, effectively given a trial as he eyed a return to professional football.

However, the Midland’s club decided against offering the now 37-year-old a deal in Roberto Di Matteo’s side.

Asked about Petrov by a fan on Twitter, the Chinese business tycoon revealed on his personal account that he had asked about Petrov specifically, but agreed with the decision stating that everyone will get older.

The former Bulgaria international revealed on Thursday that he thought he deserved more time during his trial at the club.

Petrov signed for Villa in 2006 in a £6.5million deal from Celtic.

He featured in 219 fixtures for the club before the leukaemia diagnosis in 2012, bringing an end to his time at the club in 2013.

He rejoined Villa in a coaching role in 2015 and looked to earn a playing position at the club following the team’s relegation to the Championship.

However, Xia and new manager Roberto Di Matteo are eager to return the club to the Premier League at the first time of asking and with the additions of Mile Jedinak and Aaron Tshibola in midfield there wasn’t a space in the side for Petrov.

In other Aston Villa team news, Gary Gardner has wished Ritchie De Laet a speedy recovery on Twitter.