Date:Thursday May 14 2009
Manchester City manager Mark Hughes is positive that 22-year-old Stephen Ireland will sign an extended contract to stay at Eastlands.
The City midfielder has been is fantastic form over the course of the season and his efforts were recognised in his nomination for the Professional Footballers' Association Young Player of the Year, which he narrowly missed out on to Aston Villa's Ashley Young.
Stephen Ireland had announced that he wanted to be what Giggs is to Manchester United by remaining at the club for at least another decade, his ambition to have a stand named after him.
Recently there have been discussions between the Mancheser City board and the Irishman over an extended contract to keep him at the club.
Sources close to the deal suggested that City will double Ireland's wages to £80,000-a-week in a bid to convince him that his long-term future lies at Eastlands.
Mark Hughes expects Ireland to put pen to paper soon, stating: 'I think we are very close, we had good discussions with Stephen last week and there is intent on both sides.
'We obviously want Stephen to be here for a considerable amount of time.
'I think Stephen himself has come out in recent days and said he wants to spend most of his career here, which was obviously very heartening from our point of view.
'I would imagine, as long as there are no hiccups along the way, which I don't imagine there will be, that it will get done very quickly.'
Date:Thursday May 14 2009
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