Stoke City to award Stephen Ireland a new contract as he continues to recover from a broken leg
Former Ireland midfielder Stephen Ireland is set to sign a new short-term deal with Stoke City as he continues to recover from a broken leg which has sidelined him for the entirety of this season.
Ireland has not played a game for Stoke since the club's 2-1 loss to Crystal Palace at the end of the last season, but according to Stoke manager Mark Hughes, the 30-year-old will be given a new short-term contract by the club to continue his recovery.
Ireland's current deal is set to expire in the summer, and despite having only started 25 games over the last four seasons for Hughes' side, the Potters boss insisted that it's only fair to let Ireland extend his stay in Staffordshire.
"I think it's only fair and it's the right thing to do," Hughes said at a club press conference on Friday morning.
"He's out of contract at the end of this season so we're going to extend that clearly, because as a club we need to be seen to do the right thing, just to give him a little more time to get back fit and well.
"Once he's done that then hopefully he can earn another contract but obviously he needs to be given a little bit more time to do that.
"The end of the season will come too soon for him in terms of being ready to show what he can do, so we will give him a little bit more time and that extension that he needs to complete his recovery."
Hughes also confirmed that he is confident that defender Ryan Shawcross will re-sign with the club despite interest from Rafael Benitez's Newcastle United.
Shawcross will enter the final year of his contract next season but Hughes insists he remains in his plans moving forward.
"There's not an issue, not from our point of view. We certainly want to keep Ryan here if we can," Hughes told Sky Sports.
"We don't usually enter into negotiations until there are 12 months to go.
"Sometimes that can help the players, because sometimes more power goes to the player the closer you get to the end. There are two ways to look at it."