Bellamy likely to miss Anfield visit

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The Independent Football

Newcastle United are likely to be missing the striker Craig Bellamy for their most vital match of the season. Their manager, Bobby Robson, last night confirmed that Bellamy, whose goals and pace have been the catalyst for Newcastle's surprising championship challenge, has torn a tendon in his knee, which has been further inflamed by tendinitis.

Bellamy will sit out Newcastle's two home matches with Arsenal in the Premiership and FA Cup respectively, and their potentially decisive match at Anfield on 6 March. Carl Cort, who has not played this season because of injury, has taken part in a couple of reserve games, but is not yet match fit and is a different type of player to Bellamy.

Newcastle have agreed a new deal with Aaron Hughes. The defender will sign a five-year contract today – worth around £3m, almost double his old salary.

Blackburn have been told by the Department of Employment that they can sign the Galatasaray defender Hakan Unsal. Rovers are awaiting international clearance in the hope that he will be eligible to play at Bolton tomorrow. The former Rovers defender, Colin Hendry, has agreed to a month's loan from Bolton to Preston.

Ireland will go ahead with its joint bid with Scotland to host the 2008 European Championships, but where the games will be played remains unclear. Ireland has only two stadiums big enough – Lansdowne Road and Croke Park, both in Dublin.

Jim Jefferies has agreed a three-year contract as Kilmarnock manager. The former Bradford manager replaces Bobby Williamson who has moved to Hibernian.