Sky Sports understands Stoke City are closing in on the loan signing of Aston Villa midfielder Stephen Ireland.
Villa are happy to let Ireland leave with the 27-year-old being informed he does not figure in Paul Lambert's long-term plans.
The former Republic of Ireland international has been forced to train with the club's youngsters with his last appearance for Villa coming way back in January.
Stoke boss Mark Hughes is a big admirer of the midfielder having worked with him during his time in charge of Manchester City and he is keen for a reunion.
Ireland is keen to leave Villa Park in search of regular first-team football as he looks to kick-start his career.
Stoke are now ready to complete a season-long loan deal as Hughes looks to bolster his squad before the close of the transfer window.