Stephen Ireland Set to Join Bolton

  • July 20, 2018 | By Chris Mann
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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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Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
19 Rochdale 34 36
20 AFC Wimbledon 35 35
21 Tranmere Rovers 34 32
22 Southend United 35 19
23 Bolton Wanderers 34 14
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