Aston Villa midfielder Stephen Ireland set for crunch talks with Gerard Houllier

By Sportsmail Reporter

Stephen Ireland's future will be decided this week after the Aston Villa midfielder did not even make Gerard Houllier's squad of 18 on Saturday.

The £8million arrival from Manchester City watched the victory over West Bromwich from one of the club's corporate boxes after failing even to earn a spot on the substitutes' bench.

Aston Villa's Stephen Ireland (right) has struggled to make an impact

Outcast: Aston Villa's Stephen Ireland (right) has struggled to make an impact

It is the latest fall from grace that Ireland has suffered in what has been a miserable first few months at Villa Park following his transfer in August.

Ireland's representatives have asked for a meeting with Houllier, due to take place later this week, to clarify his immediate future.

As he is one of the highest earners at Villa Park, a legacy from his days at Eastlands, Villa would be struggling to find someone to match his £3m-a-year wages.

But they may be eager to recoup at least part of that outlay with a loan move in the new year.

The comments below have been moderated in advance.

The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.

We are no longer accepting comments on this article.

Who is this week's top commenter? Find out now