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Stoke hope to deal in Villa's Ireland next month

Stoke City boss Mark Hughes is keen to sign permanently on-loan Aston Villa midfielder Stephen Ireland.

If the Potters can agree terms with Villa next month, it will give Hughes the option to bring in another player on loan from a Premier League club.

Hughes said: "Stephen is doing really well and we would like to make it more permanent. There could be that possibility in January.

"We could do it just for the flexibility to get us another loan. If there is nothing to use that loan on, though, there might be no point in doing it. We'll have to wait and see."

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