Hughes predicts Ireland stay
Mark Hughes insists Man City are on course to secure Stephen Ireland's services to a new long-term contract.
Last Updated: 23/05/09 12:22pm
Mark Hughes insists Manchester City are on course to secure Stephen Ireland's services to a new long-term contract.
The talented midfielder has been City's standout performer this season but caused alarm recently when revealing he was still some way from agreeing new terms at Eastlands.
For all City's riches it is home-grown talent Ireland that is seen as one of the key men Hughes will build his side around over the next few years.
And with this in mind, the Welshman is eager to tie Ireland down to a deal that will reportedly net him in the region of £70,000-per-week.
"The decision- making is getting positive," he told The Sun.
"We want to get it done and dusted and give Stephen the assurance going into the new season that everything is sorted.
"We've recognised the progress he has made this season and would like to reward him for that."
Another City starlet to have caught the eye this term is promising defender Nedum Onuoha, who has flourished under Hughes' guidance this term.
Such has been his progress over the past 12 months there has even been talk of senior England recognition and Hughes believes his player would be ready should Fabio Capello come calling.
"I hope Nedum gets the call," he said. "He has really come on this season.
"He has always been viewed as a kid with huge potential. As an athlete he had the tools to be a top-rate player.
"If he did get in the England squad it wouldn't faze him. He is a very level-headed guy."