"I am not quite sure what all the Stephen Ireland rumour is about," said Hughes in the Manchester Evening News
. "There was a bit of confusion about Stephen before the game against Milan, but I had a word with him before the game and explained my interpretation of it. It has been sorted out and I explained my understanding of it.
"At this time of the year a lot of agents are flying around and at times some are of a view that they can start to exercise some interest in their clients.
"Anything we have said in regards of Stephen has been misinterpreted and people have run away with it.
"He is staying. Absolutely he is staying. Sunderland has been mentioned, but there has been no contact in that respect.
"I am not sure where that came from."