Last Updated: Fri, 03 May 2013 08:50
Paul Lambert has confirmed that he will look to tie down Aston Villa's star performers on new contracts once this season is over.
The Villa chief has been impressed with several of his players in recent months as the club have moved from relegation certainties to go five points clear of the bottom three with three matches remaining and within touching distance of Premier League safety.
If Villa do survive then Lambert's main task will be to ensure prolific Belgium international striker Christian Benteke is not lured away to one of the league's top-four clubs or European sides such as Inter Milan and Champions League finalists Borussia Dortmund.
The 22-year-old signed a three-year deal when he made the switch to Villa Park from Genk in a £7 million deal last summer and Lambert is keen on extending his contract with improved terms, while he dismissed talk of putting a release clause in the paperwork 'because it just creates problems'.
Benteke's fellow striker Andreas Weimann, Matthew Lowton and Ashley Westwood are others who have stood out for Villa this season and are also set to be approached with fresh terms.
"There's definitely a few lads you would look at who I think have done really well," Lambert told The Sun. "It will be my decision. If we get through this period of time then we'll sit with everyone and explain.
"There's a few of them that you would think: 'yes, he's done great' and Matty's definitely one of them."
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