Date: 12th January 2006 at 12:01pm
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The official site has stated that Eirik Bakke wants to stay at Villa until the end of the season despite reports linking him to other clubs including Middlesbrough and West Brom.

The midfielder’s loan deal runs out at the end of January with Leeds United and Villa trying to come to a deal to extend the loan until the end of the season. Bakke will be able to return to the squad having had to sit out the FA Cup clash v Hull as the clubs hadn’t at that time come to an agreement and Leeds didn’t want the player to end up cup tied.

O’Leary said: ‘He wants to stay. He’s been into my office and said that he wants to stay here and doesn’t want to go anywhere else for the rest of the season. Now he just wants to get on with things. He desperately wanted to play in the cup tie last weekend, but Leeds wouldn’t let him. I would say that what they’ll do is wait until the very end of January to see if any offers come in for him. So why get him cup-tied, just in case somebody comes in at the very last minute.’

O’Leary has also told the club he wants to keep the player until the end of the season (gulp!) adding ‘I don’t know if other clubs are going to be looking at him. I think he’s done well here at Villa. I think he’s currently at about 80 per cent. Personally I think Eirik needs this season to get himself completely right. I think by the end of the season, if he goes along the same way, he’ll be a very attractive player for somebody to buy. I’m not even thinking about next season yet. I just want to secure him until the end of the season to be honest. I’ll be happy to do that for now.’