Stephen Ireland has returned to Aston Villa, after hearing from the Newcastle medics his ankle injury will take more than 4 weeks to heal.
Stephen Ireland – has returned to Aston Villa
So the January transfer window for Newcastle has turned out to be a real disaster, where the squad was weakened in that we lost Andy Carroll, Wayne Routledge and Xisco, and brought in an injured Stephen Ireland, who managed only two short substitute appearances for the Magpies this season.
As we’ve said before, most clubs strengthen their squads in the transfer window – that’s the general idea.
Stephen is said to be absolutely devastated to pick up yet another injury, and he arrived with a knee injury in late January, picked up a thigh injury in training just before he was to make his Newcastle debut, and has now sustained an ankle injury.
But the Newcastle Journal is reporting today that Aston Villa desperately want to unload Ireland in the summer, and whereas the transfer fee during the loan spell was set at £8M, the Midlands club would be willing to take about half of that, to get the player off their books.
Aston Villa need to reduce their huge wage bill and the £60K/week Stephen is said to be picking up would be a good start, with other players likely to leave in the summer such as Stephen Warnock, and others who quickly lost favor with new manager Gerard Houllier.
We thought a season-long loan deal could be the best deal in the summer, but news today that Newcastle have already dismissed that idea, so if Newcastle don’t go after Stephen, he may be left up in the air a bit with his career, this summer.
However despite his history, Stephen has fitted in very nicely with the rest of the Newcastle squad in his few months stay on Tyneside, and has often waxed lyrical about the club and especially the supporters, and it seems he’s been very impressed with things at Newcastle.
It also seems he has formed a good relationship with manager Alan Pardew, who seems to have no doubts about his ability, but maybe he’s concerned with his fitness, after picking up three injuries this year already.
£4M for Stephen Ireland could be a good deal for Newcastle, but it’s up to Alan Pardew and the powers that be at the club to decide if he’s worth the gamble – but if the gamble has been reduced to £4M – it could be worth it.
What do you think?