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Man City midfielder Ireland looming as Villa signing prospect

Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill is interested in Manchester City midfielder Stephen Ireland.

The Birmingham Mail says if Manchester City or any of James Milner's other potential suitors were to meet Villa's £30 million asking price a move is unlikely to take place until July at the earliest due to World Cup commitments.

That would leave O'Neill less time to recruit a replacement for Milner at the heart of his team and could increase the likelihood of Ireland moving from Eastlands to Villa Park.

Ireland has been mentioned as a possible makeweight in a deal to take Milner to City and would fit the bill as an attacking central midfielder.

O'Neill is an admirer of the Irish star who has admitted he could leave Eastlands after falling out of favour.

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