O'Neill runs the rule over former charge Agathe

August 21, 2006

Former Celtic utility player Didier Agathe is training with Aston Villa as Martin O'Neill continues his search to bring in new players before the transfer window closes.

The Frenchman, who recently had a trial at Blackburn, was a key player for the Hoops under O'Neill during his five-year reign at Parkhead and helped them to reach the 2003 UEFA Cup final.

Agathe can play at right-back or on the right flank with the latter being an area O'Neill would like to strengthen after the return of on-loan James Milner to Newcastle in the summer.

O'Neill said: 'Didier was with me at Celtic and is training with us at Aston Villa and we will see how he goes. He is here for a few days and I'm having a look at him. That's all. There's nothing more at the minute.'

O'Neill is aware he has only a week and a half left to try to bring in new players with the takeover of the club still incomplete, although American billionaire Randy Lerner remains firm favourite to gain control.

His interest remains high in bringing in Celtic midfielder Stilian Petrov but the Scottish giants are asking £7million for the Bulgarian, and there is also interest being shown by Portsmouth.

O'Neill said: 'Obviously I can't be specific. We've had a few more enquiries over the weekend in terms of ins and outs. Now I'm working as furiously as possible to get things sorted by the closure of the window.

'I will try to do something if I can because in 10 days' time that will be it in terms of being to make any signings for four months until January.'

O'Neill's squad is among the smallest in the Premiership and interest is still being shown in Milan Baros, Kevin Phillips and Mathieu Berson by Hamburg, Sunderland and Spanish side Levante respectively.