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Everton considered signing Aston Villa midfielder, move to Middlesbrough may be next

Stephen Ireland may be close to a move to Championship side Middlesbrough.

Michael Regan

Stephen Ireland, who has never quite fit in to Aston Villa since his move here in 2010's James Milner trade with Manchester City, may be nearing a move to Middlesbrough. This isn't the first time the club and player have been connected this summer. The last we heard, Boro manager Tony Mowbray had asked for first refusal if Aston Villa had plans to move Ireland. Nothing has come up, but apparently Mowbray hasn't found much either. At this point, if it's true, the whole move stinks of "Well, I guess." And if it's not true, the rumour is the perfect example of folks putting two and two together and getting Stephen Ireland in Middlesbrough.

Keep tabs on AVFC transfer news: Transfer rumour hub All the latest rumours in one list

So yeah, it's a rumour. But the real reason I bring you this news is for the fact that Everton were apparently looking at Ireland as an option at one point. I can't tell if the writer is being intentionally hilarious when he says that "Everton turned down the chance to sign" Ireland. Roberto Martinez may not be as smart as everyone gives him credit for. A chance like that of signing Stephen Ireland only comes along once every few days or so. His loss, I guess.

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