Pardew hints at Ireland deal

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew says Stephen Ireland could win a permanent move to the Magpies – despite not yet making his debut for the club.

Ireland, who joined Newcastle on loan from Aston Villa in January, has yet to figure for the Magpies because of a thigh injury.

The 24-year-old does not appear to feature in Gerard Houllier’s plans at Aston Villa and it seems likely he will be on the move in the summer.

Despite his lack of action so far, Pardew believes that the midfielder still has enough time to make an impact and earn himself a permanent move to the North-East.

"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."