Alan Pardew has turned his attention to out-of-favour Aston Villa midfielder Stephen Ireland, in a bid to strengthen his injury-ravaged Newcastle side.
With confirmation that Alan Smith will be out for the rest of the season and Dan Gosling having aggravated the knee injury that has kept him out of action for so long, Pardew is increasingly short on midfield options.
There has been much speculation over Ireland's future after Villa made it clear he was surplus to requirements, with Liverpool thought to be keen on a move for the former Manchester City graduate.
But the Magpies now look set to offer him a chance to revive his fledgling career, providing Pardew can persuade Newcastle chairman Mike Ashley to stump up the cash after a fairly quiet transfer window so far.
"It is important we try to bring someone in but it has to be right. I'm going to see Mike Ashley just to reinforce the point," said the Newcastle chief.
Villa will be keen to recover some of the money spent on Darren Bent and have placed a valuation of £6million on Ireland.
Newcastle could face competition for his signature, with Sunderland and Everton also reportedly interested, but with no deal imminent Pardew could win the race if he acts fast.
"I will be very surprised if we don't get anybody," he concluded.
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