Stephen Ireland close to signing new City deal

Manchester City midfielder Stephen Ireland is close to signing a new long-term contract with the Premier League club according to manager mark Hughes.

The Irish midfielder has been City's best player this season and was unlucky to miss out on the PFA Young Player of the Year award to Aston Villa's Ashley Young.

"We are very close with Stephen," Hughes told reporters today. "We had good discussions with him last week and there is intent on both sides."

The City boss continued: "We want Stephen to be here for a considerable length of time and he has come out himself and said he wants to spend most of his career here, which was very heartening from our point of view."

The 22-year-old has already retired from international football but told the BBC last week that he is determined to end City's 33 year wait for a trophy.

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