Date:Friday December 23 2005
As we reported earlier in the week, Aston Villa manager David O'Leary says he wants to keep midfielder Eirik Bakke on loan for the remainder of the season.
The Norwegian international initially joined the midlands club until the January transfer window when his position would come under review.
But O'Leary, who managed Bakke at Elland Road, is keen for the player to remain at Villa for the entire campaign.
The Villa chief believes Bakke is now starting to show his best form after regaining fitness following injury problems over the past two seasons.
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.'
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