Sources have told Goal.com that the Aston Villa man and Bayern Munich attacker have drawn interest from the New York Red Bulls and the Seattle Sounders respectively.
By Alex Labidou
The Seattle Sounders and New York Red Bulls are looking to make upgrades to their teams, and Goal.com can confirm the MLS clubs are looking overseas for additions.
Sources told Goal.com that Bayern Munich striker Ivica Olic is in advanced conversations to sign a deal with the Sounders. The same sources also confirmed that the Red Bulls have approached Aston Villa's attacking midfielder Stephen Ireland.
The Sounders have spent years trying to find a forward to pair with Colombian striker Fredy Montero. While the club brought in former U.S. international Eddie Johnson, it is likely that coach Sigi Schmid sees the 27-year-old as more of a squad player.
With his contract ending at the end of the season, Olic will be free to move to any club that he chooses on July 1. The player recently confirmed to Goal.com that he is ready to leave Munich, and according to reports has received offers from Juventus, Lazio and Wolfsburg.
Ireland's situation is a bit more complicated.
The midfielder has two years on his contract and reportedly makes €95,000-a-week (£80,000) at Aston Villa. Acquiring the former Republic of Ireland international would give Hans Backe the No. 10-type player he has coveted since joining the club in 2010.
Taking into consideration that Ireland would be entering his prime at 25 years old, the move would be groundbreaking for Major League Soccer and give the Red Bulls a player who they could have for years to come. Ireland has scored 17 goals over his seven-year career in the Premier League with Manchester City and Aston Villa.
Backe and Ireland have previously worked together during the Swedish coach's one-year stint at Manchester City as an assistant manager during the 2007-08 season. The sources also mentioned that Ireland will be in New York in May to discuss his possible future with the club.
Dejan Drobnjak, an agent for W3 soccer who works with both Olic and Ireland, would not confirm that any contractual details have taken place, but he did reveal that both clients are very interested in MLS.
"Both guys would love a new challenge and MLS continues to grow bigger each season," Drobnjak told Goal.com.
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