Is Stephen Ireland set to join Newcastle? (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images for New York Red Bulls)
It is being reported on various outlets that Stephen Ireland has agreed on a loan deal with Newcastle United. This report appears to have its genesis with The Daily Mail, which doesn't cite any sources. According to Football Transfer League (a site that keeps track of rumors and checks them for accuracy), The Daily Mail has published 148 transfer rumors about Newcastle since the beginning of the summer transfer window in 2006, and 25 (16.9%) have turned out to be correct. Overall, the paper has an accuracy rating of 18.9%. In other words, this report could be true...but with no sources listed and no beat writers reporting the same (the closest I can find is this Journal piece by Luke Edwards claiming that Pardew wants Ireland, but that's it), it's likely not.
It should be noted that other publications are starting to pick up on the story. The Telegraph uses a two day old Daily Mirror story to report the signing, and ESPN Soccernet's On the Move (a rumor tracker) says, "We're hearing whispers" that the Ireland move might be complete. In other words, still no substantive sources. We'll keep an eye on this and let you know if this story starts to gain any traction.