Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew wants to sign Stephen Ireland on a permanent deal despite the Irishman having never turned out for the club.

Injuries have disrupted Ireland's career at St James's Park since his loan move from Aston Villa during the January transfer window.

The 24-year-old has endured a nightmare 12 months in football after being forced out of Manchester City and then constantly overlooked by Gerard Houllier at Villa Park.

"He's still got time to impress me because I still think there is a chance of something permanent here for Stephen," said Pardew.


"Things at Villa aren't going too well. I want to have a good look at him before he goes back.

"We haven't got anything in place in terms of a deal, there wasn't time.

"He is under a little bit of pressure because there aren't many games left, but when you've got a player of Stephen's character, I don't think that is a bad thing.

"He is a player who has played on a big stage in the past, it's not like he is coming from a team which isn't high profile."


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