Middlesbrough have been linked with a move for Aston Villa midfielder Stephen Ireland in the last few weeks, but the manager Tony Mowbray has chosen to remain quiet on this transfer rumour. This has once again intensified speculation that the Championship club will be able to get a player at the peak of his career. At times, Ireland has been one of the best players for Aston Villa and Manchester city. These are the two clubs he has played in the last five years. However, he has been unable to realise his potential due to several personnel problems.
Mowbray, who has had a history of dealing with troubled players, is hoping to get the best out of the Republic of Ireland international. He is widely believed to be on his way out of Villa Park after falling out with manager Paul Lambert. The 26-year-old could be a real impact for Middlesbrough in their aims for promotion. Many reckon that the arrival of Ireland could make Middlesbrough one of the favourites for automatic promotion at the end of the campaign.
Ireland made only 13 league appearances for Villa last season, as they narrowly avoided relegation. He is expected to play even fewer matches this time around. Middlesbrough have also been linked with a move for Napoli striker Eduardo Vargas.
“I don’t think there’s anything to be said on that. I think you’ve got to put it in context.
Stephen Ireland was at Manchester City not too long ago and he’s with a Premier League club on a Premier League salary. I don’t think he’s gone on Villa’s pre-season trip. I think with deals – whether it’s Stephen Ireland or any Premier League player – clubs go through pre-season, assess their squads and then make decisions about footballers pretty late on,” said Mowbray.