Young Corkman Stephen Ireland has signed a new four-year contract with Manchester City.

The deal, which was agreed in principle last week, will keep the 19-year-old at Eastlands until 2009 and confirms his reputation as one of the most promising young players on City's books.

Ireland has made his big breakthrough this season after Blues boss Stuart Pearce took the Irish midfielder on the club's pre-season tour to Thailand.

After making his first senior appearance in the home defeat to Bolton last month, Ireland has been an ever-present, making six appearances in total and is expected to be part of the side which faces Aston Villa on Monday.

"I am delighted with the contract," Ireland told www.mcfc.co.uk. "I spoke to the gaffer and said that I wanted to stay as long as I possibly could."

"To get an extension through to 2009 is absolutely brilliant for me. I want to stay here, keep playing and keep proving myself."