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Stephen Ireland is demanding a £2 million 'loyalty payment' from Manchester City before he'll move to Aston Villa, according to a report from The Daily Mirror.
That demand apparently places the potential deal taking James Milner in the opposite direction in some doubt, with City refusing to be held to ransom by the midfielder.
Ireland had agreed to move to Villa as part of a reported £26m deal to take Milner to Manchester, but there have been other reports this week suggesting the player was having second thoughts about the move.
The deal, which was apparently meant to be concluded on Thursday night, could now apparently collapse unless Ireland's representatives drop his demands.
Ireland reportedly fell out with City boss Roberto Mancini after being told he would be omitted from City's final 25-man Premier League squad, due to be submitted on September 1.
The report claims that City sources have insisted that there is no chance of Ireland receiving £2m.