Date: 18th January 2006 at 11:26am
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The reports that Middlesbrough are about to sneak in and take Eirik Bakke from under Aston Villa’s noses has returned.

David O’Leary has indicated that he would like the player on a permanent deal, or at the very least an extended loan deal, but says his hands are tied as Villa chairman Doug Ellis has stated there will be no new arrivals during the transfer window.

Sources in Yorkshire where Bakke’s family resides, suggest that Boro have made an enquiry. The Norwegian international’s loan deal runs out at the end of January and he has already indicated he would prefer a permanent move rather than an extended loan.

O’Leary said: ‘I want to keep him until the end of the season and he’s told me he wants that too. By the end of the season he’ll be a very attractive player for somebody to buy. But I don’t know if other clubs are looking at him.’

However Bakke has also spoken about the four hour commute which he does daily, so a move to Boro may well be too tempting.

In our latest poll we’ve asked who Villa fans would rather stay, Eirik Bakke or Lee Hendrie. At present 74% are saying Hendrie, 20% Bakke and the rest neither!