With the departure of Kevin Nolan and the potential departure of Joey Barton this summer, we wondered what the situation was with Stephen Ireland.
Stephen Ireland – while at Newcastle earlier this year
Stephen had a disastrous time of things with injuries on his loan spell at Newcastle earlier this year, and managed only two substitute appearances in his time on Tyneside, when he moved on loan on the last day of the January transfer window.
And with former Birmingham manager Alex McLeish taking over at Aston Villa, it could be he will be brought in from the cold he endured under former French manager Gerard Houllier, who didn’t rate him.
Even though Ireland had a tough time of things with injuries, he still showed some significant class in training.
Newcastle would like to get a good cut-price deal on Ireland (who wouldn’t?), but the news in the Sunday Sun today is that Newcastle would offer only around £2M for Ireland, which seems a bit on the low side.
The news is that Aston Villa wanted £5M for him in January, although the reports out at the time said that was as high as £8M, but Villa may be willing to cut their losses on a player who was signed by former manager Martin O’Neill for £8M from Manchester City last summer.
The news is that Stephen would still jump at the chance to move to Newcastle, and a senior Newcastle source told the Sunday Sun:
“Nothing is imminent with Stephen, but it is not one to write off just yet.”“He might not have played but he was unlucky with injuries and his attitude and work-rate while he was here were absolutely first class.”
“He was finished at Villa under Gerard Houllier but a new manager might change things for him.” “He would like to come back but it depends on Villa now.”
“I think Stephen is one that we’ll keep an eye on with a view to maybe ‘nicking him’ at the end of the window.”
Even though he had lots of injuries this year, we think Stephen Ireland would be a great acquisition for Newcastle, and an absolute steal at just £2M.
What do you think.