Sources have told Goal.com that Stephen Ireland and Ivica Olic have drawn interest from New York and the Seattle Sounders respectively.It appears that both the Seattle Sounders and New York Red Bulls are interested in significantly upgrading their teams.
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.
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Both players would fill needs for the two clubs.
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 depth at the forward position.
With Olic's contract ending this season, Olic will be free to move to any club that he chooses after May. Over the past five years in the Bundesliga playing for Hamburger SV and Bayern Munich, Ollic has scored 42 goals in 127 appearances.
Ireland's situation is a bit more complicated.
Ireland has two years on his contract and reportedly makes over 80,000 pounds a week 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.
Factor in the fact 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.