Injury-hit Villa defender Dunne told to find a new club by boss Lambert

Richard Dunne will not be offered fresh terms by Aston Villa for next season and is free to find himself a new club.

The Ireland international has not kicked a ball for Villa under Paul Lambert and has been struggling with hip and groin problems since returning from Euro 2012.

Missing in action: Richard Dunne has not kicked a ball for boss Paul Lambert

Missing in action: Richard Dunne has not kicked a ball for boss Paul Lambert

Only last month Lambert confirmed that Dunne would continue in his career and that the 'door was not closed' with respect to a fresh deal.

However, the four-year contract he agreed during Martin O'Neill's spell in charge of the club is now at an end.

And the club has taken the decision not to offer him a new one.

Dunne, who will be 34 in September, is likely to be joined by Stephen Ireland who, like Darren Bent, is eager to see what Lambert's plans will be next summer.

Richard Dunne of Aston Villa

Injury-hit: Dunne has been struggling since returning from Euro 2012

The midfielder, who won the player-of-the-year award last season was absent from Villa's event earlier this month.

He has not featured for Villa since the club's humiliating 2-1 defeat in the Capital One Cup to Bradford City but still has 12 months to run on his current deal.

Ireland is pressing Lambert for a meeting and former England international Bent should discover what the future holds for him in the next 24 hours as he is another who has asked to speak to Villa's boss to clarify his own position.