Panathinaikos could nick Aston Villa midfielder Stephen Ireland from loan club Newcastle United in June.

The Daily Star says Ireland has returned to training and will be involved for the first time against Everton as he tries to clinch a permanent move to the North East.

Greek club ­Panathinaikos will watch Ireland in the final weeks of the season before deciding whether to make a bid for him.

They have admitted their interest in the 24-year-old and, unlike Newcastle, are willing to match his £60,000-a-week wages.

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