Wigan Athletic and Bolton Wanderers are reportedly interested in signing Stoke City winger James McClean, according to The Sun’s Alan Nixon (15th August, page 63).
McClean has been with the Potters since 2018, and has made 111 appearances in total for the club, with 24 of those coming in last year’s league campaign, as they finished 14th in the Championship table.
But the Irishman is now training with the club’s Under-23s team, and it seems as though his future lies away from the bet365 Stadium.
Stoke boss Michael O’Neill has recently admitted that McClean is likely to depart this summer, providing there is interest in his services.
“James is part of the U23s. He’s available to other clubs but as yet no club has taken up that option as far as I understand.”
Wigan Athletic and Bolton Wanderers are both rumoured to be keen on a deal to sign the 32-year-old, although it’s unclear as to whether any potential agreement would be a permanent or loan deal at this stage of the summer transfer window.
Bolton won promotion into League One last season, after finishing third in the League Two table, whilst under the management of Ian Evatt.
Whilst Wigan narrowly avoided relegation into the fourth tier of English football last term, and will be hoping they can challenge higher up the League One table in this year’s campaign.
Stoke are set to return to action on Tuesday evening, when they take on Swansea City, in what is likely to be a tricky test for Michael O’Neill’s side, against last season’s beaten play-off finalists.
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His departure will be ideal for all parties involved.
McClean has shown glimpses of his quality over the years, but clearly isn’t rated by Michael O’Neill at this moment in time, with the midfielder training with the club’s Under-23s team.
Bolton and Wigan are both well-established clubs in English football, that will be keen to get back on the right path, after a tricky few seasons in the lower leagues.
McClean could be somewhat of a coup for either club, as they look to finish in the top-six this season in the third-tier.