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Ireland 'staying put'

ALEX MCLEISH has dismissed reports of a move to the USA for Aston Villa star Stephen Ireland.

The Cork native still has two years left on his deal at Villa Park but he has been linked with a move to MLS outfit New York Red Bulls, something manager McLeish says is unlikely.

"I've seen the talk of the Red Bulls but I don't know where it came from," said McLeish. "If he can keep producing what he showed in the Fulham game and other games, including the last Arsenal game here at Villa Park -- when he was outstanding -- then we've got a player."

Ireland did not comment on the USA link but he did admit that he's enjoying his form with Villa, which began with a good display against Arsenal in December.

"The fans sang my name for the first time in that game and I was taken aback by it," he said. "It really opened my eyes and I thought 'yeah, I can kick on from here'."