Parkhead side looks to sign Villa Park midfielder on loan.
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Celtic want to sign Aston Villa rebel Stephen Ireland on loan – and in time to make a dramatic debut against Rangers in the Old Firm derby.
Neil Lennon’s club are first in the queue for the extrovert midfielder and their backers are prepared to pay Villa around £40,000-a-week to take Ireland for the second half of the season.
The Glasgow giants would like Ireland to join immediately to get him ready for the big game with their title rivals, with negotiations moving on quickly.
Villa would like to sell Ireland or let him go to a club on loan who guarantee they will take him off their hands. However Celtic are looking for a quick answer rather than waiting until the end of the window.
Ireland is willing to go to the SPL and restore his reputation after an ill-fated transfer to Villa, a deal pushed through when they were managerless and before Gerard Houllier took the helm. (Daily Mirror)
Stephen Ireland may well be very interested in the chance to go to Celtic and attempt to resurrect a career that is currently stagnating at Villa Park. Gerard Houllier seems more than happy to see the former Man City playmaker leave the club and at least a loan move to Parkhead would help prove to any prospective suitors just what the 24 year old is capable of.
Neil Lennon will be keen to bring a player of Ireland’s quality to the club as they look to prevent arch rivals Rangers from clinching their third SPL title on the trot. Clearly any permanent move for the Irish international would be very difficult for the Glasgow side to achieve given the player’s wage demands.
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