Stephen Ireland Set to Join Bolton

  • July 20, 2018 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/54071

Former Stoke City midfielder Stephen Ireland is on the verge of joining Bolton on a free transfer.

Ireland, who departed the bet365 Stadium when his contract expired in June, has been linked with Wanderers for a number of weeks and could sign a deal ahead of Saturday's pre-season friendly against Girona.

A product of the Manchester City academy, Ireland made his professional debut against the Trotters in September 2005 - when Gary Speed scored in a 1-0 victory for Sam Allardyce's visiting side - and went on to make a total of 176 appearances before completing an £8million move to Aston Villa in 2010.

He played 57 times during a three-and-a-half year stay at Villa Park, before moving to Stoke in January 2014 at the conclusion of a successful loan period at the club.

Injuries dogged his time with the Potters, however, with a training ground accident in May 2016 leaving him with a broken leg that forced him to miss the entirety of the 2016/17 campaign.

With his contract expiring, Ireland penned a six-month extension which kept him with Stoke for the remainder of 2017, before another deal saw it run through until the end of last season - one in which the 31-year-old featured just five times in all competitions.

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