Celtic hopeful of Ireland loan deal

Celtic are hopeful of signing unsettled Aston Villa midfielder Stephen Ireland on a six-month loan deal in the next 48 hours.

The 24-year-old has struggled to establish himself at Villa since joining from Manchester City in the summer as part of the deal which saw James Milner move in the opposite direction.

Bhoys manager Neil Lennon is looking to add some quality to the Celtic midfield and watched Ireland make a rare start in the Premier League in Villa’s 3-0 defeat to Liverpool last week.

The player’s agent is set to meet with Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner this evening in an attempt to hammer out a deal with reports that the Birmingham club will pay half of Ireland’s £68,000-a-week wage.

The 24-year-old has also hinted that he will end his self-imposed international exile. Ireland quit international football in 2007, but posted on Twitter earlier today that he might make a comeback as he looks to secure a move to another Premier League team.

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