Ireland and Manchester City star Stephen Ireland

Newcastle United winger Damien Duff has said he would welcome any return to the international fold for Manchester City star Stephen Ireland.

“We’ll wait and see. If he does come I will, and I’m sure the rest of the lads will welcome him with open arms. He was the best player last season so I’m sure he’d improve us,” said Duff after Newcastle’s 3-0 friendly win over Shamrock Rovers.

“There’d be no problem with me but I’ve seen some of the younger lads who are probably a bit naive saying things in the press.

“We know who they are -- saying they wouldn’t be happy -- but whatever problems Stephen has had he is a top player and if he comes back fair play.”