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Stoke boss Hughes keen on Villa outcast Ireland

Stoke City boss Mark Hughes is keen on Aston Villa outcast Stephen Ireland.

The People says he could face serious competition from new Everton manager Roberto Martinez, who is also showing an interest in the former Republic of Ireland midfielder.

Ireland, 26, played some of the best football of his career under Hughes when the pair were together at Manchester City, winning the 2008-09 ­player of the year award.

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