Ireland completes Magpies switch
Stephen Ireland has completed a loan move to Newcastle.
The 24-year-old midfielder has joined the club for the remainder of the season from Aston Villa.
His arrival comes just hours after reports emerged that the deal had fallen through because he had failed a medical.
Manager Alan Pardew was delighted to have completed the signing which had been high on his agenda.
He said: "Stephen has shown over the past few seasons that he's a real top player, so we are really pleased to have got him until the end of the season.
"He can create chances for others and score goals himself, and we think he can be a big factor for us in the second part of this season.
"I think Stephen feels he can deliver more than he's shown at Villa so far, so he's got a point to prove and I believe we can reap the benefits of that."
Ireland joined Villa in an £8million switch from Manchester City during the summer of last year, but has struggled to find his best form for the club.
He made his Villa debut at St James' Park on August 22, and found himself on the wrong end of a 6-0 drubbing as Carroll plundered his first Barclays Premier League hat-trick.
However, he is regarded as one of the most talented footballers to come out of Ireland in recent years and Republic of Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni has more than once offered him the chance of a return from his self-imposed international exile.