O'Leary: Bakke wants Villa stay
By Peter ORourke
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Aston Villa boss David O'Leary claims Eirik Bakke wants to stay at the club.Aston Villa boss David O'Leary claims Eirik Bakke wants to extend his stay at the club.
Bakke is currently on loan from Leeds with the deal set to expire at the end of January.
Villa are keen to keep him until the end of the season, but reports have suggested Villa could face competition for his signature from several other Premiership sides.
However, O'Leary remains confident of keeping Bakke as the Norwegian is happy to stay at Villa Park.
"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," O'Leary told the club's official website.
"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 they're waiting 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.
"But Eirik has told us he wants to stay here until the end of the season. We've not spoken about after that yet. I don't think he wants to look that far ahead yet.
"I've said to the club I want to keep him until the end of the season.
"I don't know if other clubs are going to be looking at him. I think he's done well here at Villa."
O'Leary also rejected reports claiming he could allow Ulises de la Cruz to leave the club on a free transfer.
The former Hibernian ace is keen to leave Villa during the transfer window, but so far no clubs have made a move for the player.
It has been suggested that Villa may let him go on a free transfer to help him secure a move, but O'Leary has rubbished the rumours.
"Why would I give him a free transfer now? What club would say: 'You can go now'? He's still got five months on his deal - that's still half a season. We haven't exactly got a great deal of numbers," added O'Leary.
Meanwhile, Wilfred Bouma faces another two weeks on the sidelines with a knee injury.
Bouma has been out of action since picking up a knee problem against Fulham in December and he will again be missing for this weekend's clash with West Ham.