Aston Villa's Stephen Ireland undergoes medical at St James' Park ahead of potential loan switch - report

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Aston Villa midfielder Stephen Ireland has undergone a medical at Newcastle United, as manager Alan Pardew hopes to sign the former Manchester City player on a six-month loan, according to reports.

SkySportsNews have signalled that the 24-year-old was in the north-east for a medical after falling down the ranks since Gerard Houllier’s arrival at Aston Villa back in September.

There has been no official confirmation from either side, but reports suggest that they are keen on finalising the deal before 11pm tomorrow, when the English transfer window closes.

The Aston Villa boss openly discussed Ireland’s position at the club, claiming that he needed to work harder on his game.

Should the switch take place, it will become Pardew’s second signing after the Englishman signed Ben Hatem Arfa from Marseille for £2 million, which could rise to £7m if the Frenchman makes 25 appearances for the Magpies this season.

Ireland’s arrival would be a boost for Newcastle who are having to come to terms with Alan’s Smith’s long-term ankle injury, and star striker Andy Carroll's inability as yet to shake off a groin injury.

The Irishman plays in an attacking midfield role and signed for Villa from Manchester City last summer for £8m in part-exchange for James Milner, having drifted out of contention at Eastlands following the arrivals of many multi-million pound stars. He is now looking to find common football ground with Pardew at St James' Park.

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