Balaban wants another chance

Balaban, signed by former boss John Gregory for £6million from Dinamo Zagreb 18 months ago, moved back to Zagreb on loan after failing to make a single league start for Villa.

And, with three years still to run on his current Villa contract, Balaban is hoping that manager Graham Taylor will give him another chance when he returns to Villa Park at the end of the season.

"I would not say that I am a better player now. I am the same player who is getting regular football and my form has improved as a result," said Balaban.

"I play alongside Ivica Olic in both the national side and the Zagreb side. He has helped my game and a lot of European clubs are watching him - so maybe they'll see me too.

"But that's not in my thoughts as I still want to come back to Aston Villa. That is still the plan.

"I shall return in the summer and see what Villa have to say. The final word will be theirs but I would like to go back and play."