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Football in brief: O'Neill rejects talk of Heskey departure

Aston Villa: Martin O'Neill has played down speculation linking Emile Heskey with a move away from Villa Park this month. The England striker has been tipped as a potential target for his former club, Liverpool.

O'Neill takes such speculation in his stride and puts it down to the time of year now the transfer window is open again. He said: "It isn't of any concern to me at all. It is just the nature of the business. Things have been bubbling up because January is the only opportunity that clubs can bring in players during the season. It doesn't bother me one jot. I cannot go on confirming or denying stories. It just happens."

Jo suspended after Christmas trip to Brazil

Everton: The club have suspended striker Jo after he returned to Brazil without permission over Christmas. The 22-year-old is currently on a season’s loan from Manchester City, who signed him for £18m in July 2008, but has failed to impress since arriving at Goodison in August and club sources have indicated that he is likely to be sent back to his parent club.

“I’m disappointed because we like Jo, he has been a really good lad,” David Moyes, the Everton manager, said, “but there has to be discipline at all football clubs.”