Stephen Ireland set to leave Aston Villa - report

The former Republic of Ireland international is set to join a number of high-earners on their way out of Villa Park, according to reports
Stephen Ireland has been told that he can leave Aston Villa, according to a report in the Daily Telegraph.

The former Manchester City midfielder, who has 12 months remaining on his contract, has reportedly been informed by Villa boss Paul Lambert that he is free to find another club.

Ireland arrived at Villa Park in 2010 for a fee of £8 million (€9.4 million) and was named Player of the Year by Aston Villa supporters for the 2011/2012 season. However, the 26-year-old has struggled to nail down a place in the team under Paul Lambert.

The Villa boss is reportedly keen to dispense with several high-earners ahead of the new season. Veteran defender Richard Dunne has already left the club, while other players such as Shay Given, Darren Bent and Alan Hutton have also been told that they can depart.

Aston Villa finished 15th in the English Premier League last season, with 41 points and Lambert is determined to rebuild his squad ahead of the forthcoming campaign.