Sunday 19 November 2017

Villa outcast Ireland faces the exit door as Lambert adds to squad

Stephen Ireland
Stephen Ireland

John Percy

Stephen Ireland is the latest high earner to be told he can leave Aston Villa, as Paul Lambert continues to build for the future after making two new signings.

Ireland has been informed he can find another club as manager Lambert attempts to further slash the wage bill by offloading fringe players on substantial wages.

The former Manchester City midfielder was Villa supporters' Player of the Year for the 2011/12 campaign but he has not made a Premier League appearance since the 3-0 home defeat to Wigan in December.

Ireland has only 12 months left on his £65,000-a-week contract and though Villa are reluctant to allow him to leave on a free transfer, they will accept a significant loss on a player who cost them £8m.

Darren Bent, Shay Given and Alan Hutton have also been cleared to go, while Richard Dunne has already departed after his contract expired.

Lambert is keen to build a young and vibrant squad and completed deals for FC Nordsjaelland defender Jores Okore and FC Groningen midfielder Leandro Bacuna yesterday.

Villa have already signed Lech Poznan winger Aleksandar Tonev, while Aalborg striker Nicklas Helenius is also poised to join Lambert's squad next week. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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