Stoke City boss Mark Hughes is reluctant to talk up the prospect of a permanent deal for Aston Villa midfielder Stephen Ireland.

Hughes is understandably cagey on the issue so soon into Ireland's career at the Britannia Stadium.

He said: "It's out of our hands somewhat because he's a loan player, but we have got him until the end of the season and I'm sure there will be conversations then to see what he wants to do. He just wants to concentrate on playing, and then see the options at the end."

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