Newcastle have refuted the claim from Doug Ellis that Aston Villa have settled on a fee to take Craig Bellamy and Aaron Hughes to the midlands.
Villa chairman Ellis professed that his side were closing in on the Newcastle pair, but a statement from St James' Park indicated that he jumped the gun.
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"Despite reports to the contrary, Newcastle United have not agreed any fees with Aston Villa over the sale of Craig Bellamy and Aaron Hughes," said a statement on the club's official website, www.nufc.co.uk.
"News broke saying the pair were close to completing a move to Villa Park, but Newcastle confirm this report is incorrect and say no fees have been agreed with any club."
It looked as though Villa were poised to make their second and third signings of the summer when they announced that a combined fee had been agreed.
Having already wrapped up a deal for Patrik Berger, who will join on a free transfer from Portsmouth in July, boss David O'Leary seemed to have acted swiftly in an effort to make further additions.
Ellis told his club's website, www.avfc.co.uk: "I have spoken with Freddy Shepherd, the Newcastle chairman on several occasions in the last 48 hours and last night he accepted our cash offer for both players."
However confusion is now blurring the picture, with Bellamy's future once again uncertain.
The Welsh striker had a public fall-out with Graeme Souness in January and has been told he will never play for Newcastle again, but his form since joining Celtic on loan on deadline day has put him in the shop window.
The 25-year-old Bellamy has hit the goal trail in Scotland, with nine vital strikes in 13 appearances propelling Celtic closer to the Scottish Premier League title which they can clinch this weekend with victory at Motherwell.
But the prospects of the Welshman staying north of the border look doubtful, with Villa and several other Premiership clubs thought to be keen.
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