Newcastle have denied agreeing a deal with Aston Villa to sell striker Craig Bellamy and defender Aaron Hughes.

Villa chairman Doug Ellis said on Wednesday that Magpies chairman Freddy Shepherd had “accepted our cash offer for both players”.

“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,” Ellis told the club’s website.

But a statement on the Newcastle website then claimed no fee had been agreed with any club for either player.

Newcastle manager Souness said Bellamy would never play for him again after the pair’s relationship felll out earlier this season. He has spent the last four months on loan at Celtic.

Hughes, 25, has made 279 appearances for the club.