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Stoke closing deal for Villa midfielder Ireland

Stoke City are wrapping up a permanent deal for on-loan Aston Villa midfielder Stephen Ireland.

The Telegraph says Villa and Stoke boss Mark Hughes have sealed a deal to keep Ireland at the Britannia Stadium.

Premier League clubs are only allowed two loan recruits from their top flight rivals, meaning the presence of Ireland and Liverpool winger Oussama Assaidi at Stoke had prevented them borrowing other players.

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