Aston Villa step up pursuit of Bellamy

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The Independent Football

Everton and Celtic have been given permission to talk to the 25-year-old Welsh international, with Aston Villa and Blackburn maintaining an interest.

David O'Leary, the Villa manager, is due back from his summer break today and will attempt to lure Bellamy to Birmingham, while it is understood Bellamy has some misgivings about joining Everton after talks with the manager, David Moyes.

Newcastle became the latest club to be linked with a possible loan move for Manchester United's Louis Saha as he attempts to fight his way back into form. The Frenchman spent a brief spell on loan at St James' from Metz in 1998, but the club baulked at the £2m asking price and he later joined Fulham before making his £12.8m move to Old Trafford in January last year.

A loan deal would provide a short-term solution, with Graeme Souness having been rebuffed by Saha's team-mate Alan Smith and Christian Vieri - who joined Milan yesterday - but any interest is in its infancy.

Should Saha stay at Old Trafford, he will have a new team-mate as Park Ji-Sung was granted a work permit on appeal yesterday. The South Korean will be officially unveiled next week.