Stoke secure permanent deal for Aston Villa midfielder Stephen Ireland

Ireland has impressed sufficiently on loan to earn a permanent contract. Photo: PA

Stephen Ireland has turned his dream into reality after being handed a permanent deal by Stoke boss Mark Hughes.

Ireland joined Stoke on a season-long loan from Aston Villa earlier in the season, and following that he made no secret of his desire to make the move something more long-term.

In signing Ireland permanently, Hughes has also been able to bring in Manchester City striker John Guidetti on loan for the remainder of the campaign.