Bring one in, send one out. With the official site confirming that Villa are indeed in the final stages of talks with Michael Bradley, we now are hearing that Stephen Ireland is in Newcastle for a physical. Ireland, who hasn't seen the pitch for Villa since early December, has become a persona non grata with most fans through a combination of terrible play and a poor attitude. But it appears that he's unwanted by the front office as well. Newcastle, however, are looking for some midfield help and hope that Ireland can show flashes of the form that propelled him to stardom.
One would have to assume that this would be a loan with an option to buy, as Ireland hasn't done anything to prove that he deserves to wear the Claret and Blue, and I can't imagine that he's a part of Gérard Houllier's plans going forward. He was a major piece in the James Milner transfer, but it turns out that the money we got in that deal was far more useful. If the loan gets completed before the window closes Monday night, Ireland could suit up for the Magpie's match against Fulham in London on Wednesday. The sooner he leaves Birmingham, the better, I say.
And if you missed the quick allusion to it in the first line, the Michael Bradley deal still isn't finished, though we are closer than before. Usually you don't see the official site confirming a rumor unless that rumor is likely to come to fruition. We've had some great debate in the comments of the last Bradley post, and I'm eager to hear what other Villa fans think about the move. I'm on the record as liking it, though I can't see Bradley as a starting star. He can provide some great bench depth for us. (Though as a USMNT fan, I'd really like to see him starting somewhere, so I'm a bit conflicted.) Let us know what you think below but please keep it civil!