Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill believes striker Marlon Harewood would benefit from a temporary switch to Newcastle.

Harewood has slipped down the pecking order and is fifth choice forward at Villa behind Gabriel Agbonlahor, John Carew, Emile Heskey and Nathan Delfouneso. The former West Ham player has returned from injury and O'Neill feels he would benefit from more regular first team football at St James' Park.

O'Neill said: "Newcastle are still looking to do something in terms of Marlon. I think the opportunity for him now coming back from injury, to get involved in a cause, would be very important and only a benefit for all of us."

The Villa boss added: "I think they are waiting to hear whether they have permission from their owner to go and progress the move.

"Marlon has been out since pre-season with injuries. He is fighting back, is feeling fine, trained for a few days on the trot.

"But people are pressing for places and at this moment we have competition up front. Delfouneso is going to be a really excellent player and he is hovering around in terms of being on the bench."

Harewood has made only a limited number of starts since his move to Villa from Upton Park during the summer of 2007.

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Topics:
Gabriel Agbonlahor
Football
John Carew
Emile Heskey
Premier League
Marlon Harewood
Nathan Delfouneso
Aston Villa