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Stoke City keen to tie up Stephen Ireland on a permanent basis

Updated: Friday, 03 Jan 2014 16:05 | Comments

Stephen Ireland is on loan from Aston Villa
Stephen Ireland is on loan from Aston Villa

Stoke are in talks to sign midfielder Stephen Ireland permanently during the January transfer window.

The Republic of Ireland international is on a season-long loan at the Britannia Stadium from Aston Villa, where his contract is up at the end of the campaign.

Potters manager Mark Hughes said: "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."

Hughes is keen to do business in the window, with a striker the top priority, but he dismissed rumours midfielder Wilson Palacios could join Real Betis on loan.

The Welshman said: "That's news to me. There's been no contact as far as I'm aware. Jamie Ness has gone out on loan but at the moment we don't anticipate anybody else (leaving)."

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