Date: 23rd December 2005 at 2:17pm
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O’Leary has indicated that he would like to keep Eirik Bakke at Aston Villa until the end of the season and hopes the board will tie up an extension to his loan deal which runs out at the end of January.

O’Leary said: ‘We badly need Eirik until the end of the season – look at our numbers. It would be a major blow if we don’t have him for the second half of the season. We have to sort it out with Leeds but I can’t see that being a problem. He is coming on all the time. What he has needed, like Jonathon Woodgate at Real Madrid, is a sustained run of games after a long time out injured. Hopefully he will get that. He is getting stronger and will prove a real solid player for us here.’

Whether the news of the impending takeover changes this situation is unclear. Maybe O’Leary won’t need loan players, maybe O’Leary won’t be manager? I guess time will tell.