The 33-year-old was loaned out to Stoke in November but has returned and is enjoying a rejuvenated end to the season. O'Neill said: "I'll definitely be offering something to him. I never said his career here was finished. The realisation that playing in front of big crowds may be over has brought out the very best in him. He has done brilliantly - really great."
The move would appear a step backwards for many at Villa Park, but his bustling presence and ability to pick a long pass have been significant boons in the club's end-of-season renaissance. "If he can remain fit for a year - and that's the big thing - then I think he'd be able to make the same contribution as he has since January," O'Neill continued. "He has given us that bit of composure which was what we needed at that stage because things were getting a bit frantic."