Reports today that Stephen Ireland’s Aston Villa future is uncertain at best, because the Midlands club want his £65K/week wages paid in full if he goes out on loan, though the end of the season.
Stephen Ireland – on £65K/week
Tottenham and Manchester City players, who are out on the fringes, have a problem of going to other clubs, because they are on huge wages and in general both clubs paid over the odds for their players.
We know Stephen is now at Aston Villa, but we assume Villa matched the wages he was getting at Manchester City, when they bought him for around £8M in a part exchange deal, that involved James Milner going the other way.
Ireland, who is still only 24, is said to be a target of both Newcastle and Celtic, and the news today is that both clubs have said they will pay up to £40K/week wages, to take him on loan for the rest of the season, but no more.
And if it’s a choice between Celtic and Newcastle, you have to think Newcastle will be in the driving seat, because if you take Rangers and Celtic out of the Scottish Premier League, the league is no better than England’s third division, and the pitches are just hopeless up there.
Stephen is now training with the Villa Reserves, as he is yet another player who has fallen out with the new French manager, Gerard Houllier.
We thought good managers were supposed to be able to get on with their players?
The news is that Stephen’s friends have said he would be more interested in joining Bolton Wanderers (why?), and if that’s the case maybe Newcastle shouldn’t be going after this player, after all.
And we expect that Fulham will sign Manchester City winger Shaun Wright-Phillips on loan, but we don’t think Shaun would be a good signing for Newcastle now, when there are younger players with more potential out there – like Max Gradel of Leeds United as one example.
Max looked really good for Leeds United against Arsenal in mid-week.