Stoke City manager Mark Hughes has revealed that the club are keen to sign the midfielder Stephen Ireland on a permanent basis. The Irishman is currently on loan from Aston Villa till the end of the season. However, his Aston Villa contract comes to an end this season and it seems that Paul Lambert is not keen to renew his deal after having fallen out with the midfielder. He has been rejuvenated under Hughes this campaign after having played with him at Manchester City. Now, the club are looking to make Ireland their major signing in the summer.
The midfielder has so far been impressive for his temporary club, as he has scored 3 goals in 16 matches. Stoke have been able to achieve relative success this campaign under Hughes after the long-term success under Tony Pulis came to an end in the summer. Hughes has been trying to get the club playing in an attractive style of football while also trying to get the results as well. They are 12th in the table with 22 points on board. January could open up the possibility of signing a new player to strengthen the team, while Wilson Palacios has also been linked with a loan move to Spain.
The former Tottenham midfielder has not been a first-team regular under Hughes.
“We’re trying to do something with Stephen if we can. I know we’ve had discussions with his people and I’ve spoken to Stephen myself. I think there’s a willingness on both sides to get something done. Nothing’s been agreed formally yet but I think the intention is there to try to do something if we can,” said the former Manchester City and Fulham manager. Stoke’s FA Cup campaign will begin with a match against Leicester City, who are flying high in the Championship.