Ireland v Cyprus is a crucial game for manager Trappatoni
Three points from the game against the Cypriots could virtually guarantee second place
South Korea international Ki Sung-yong has reportedly agreed a deal to join Celtic in the January transfer window while the club’s Italian midfielder Massimo Donati has returned home and signed for Bari on a four year deal.
Premier League Wigan have been linked with a loan deal for Scott McDonald.
Ireland's new kick
STEPHEN Ireland has finally given Giovanni Trapattoni and the nation’s World Cup dream the chop -– in favor of kick boxing!
Ireland has confirmed that he would rather practice martial arts than play for his country this weekend.
Instead of traveling to Cyprus on World Cup duty, Ireland has drawn up a grueling eight day fitness schedule at his kick boxing club.
The Manchester City midfielder was watched by Trapattoni against Wolves last week, but their stand-off will continue.
And both Trapattoni and the Irish fans can forget about an Ireland return ahead of next month’s concluding qualifiers against Italy and Montenegro.
“There is no change to the international situation,” said Ireland. “As far as I am concerned retiring was probably the best decision I ever made.
“I’m not thinking about going back to the squad. In the international break I will train every day. I have already planned eight days of working flat out.
“Some players might look for a rest in international week but I like working harder. I want to give myself the best chance in football and would like to be a big player like Roy Keane.”
WORLD Cup defender Richard Dunne is on the verge of a big money move from Manchester City to Martin O’Neill’s Aston Villa.
Dunne became surplus to requirement at City after manager Mark Hughes finally landed Everton centre-back Joleon Lescott.
Villa and Bulgaria captain Stiliyan Petrov has welcomed Dunne’s imminent arrival in Birmingham.
“The deal for Dunne will be great news for Villa,” said Petrov. “Richard’s an international player, he’s been in the Premier League for so many years and is one of the game’s big players.
“It’s going to be a big signing for Villa. It will give us a strong defender at the back and, of course, he’s definitely a true leader.
“He’s the captain of Ireland, he’s been the captain of Manchester City, so you love to see players like that coming to this club.”
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