Aston Villa to offer Petrov coaching role

Stiliyan Petrov could remain at Aston Villa past the expiration of his contract this summer after manager Paul Lambert confirmed he would offer the club captain a coaching role if the midfielder, who is in remission after suffering from leukaemia, but still undergoing chemotherapy, feels able to take the position, the Daily Mirror has reported.

Petrov was diagnosed with the illness a year ago and hasn’t played football since, with his active career appearing to be at an end, according to what the Bulgarian is understood to have told friends.

Lambert however chose to maintain Petrov as the club captain when he became manager last summer, while Villa’s supporters mark the 19th minute of the match with a round of applause, echoing Petrov’s shirt number.

Petrov and Lambert were already familiar with each other, having played together at Celtic, and Lambert revealed he believes it is important Villa retain the services of Petrov in some capacity even if his playing days are over.

I don’t think many people realise what he has went through and the way he has battled strongly. He is doing great. I am delighted for him – he is a really close friend of mine from when we played up the road at Celtic,” Lambert said, adding: “Hopefully it is not too long before he comes out of this stage. As I have said before he has been a big loss to this club.

I don’t think he could do the stressful job of being a manager. I think he would maybe like to coach younger kids or something. He was a great player and could give great advice to everyone,” Lambert continued. “Nearer the time I will speak with him, we will have to see how he feels. But the main thing is he recovers fully from a horrible illness.

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