Fleetwood Town have completed the signing of 36-year-old midfielder Glenn Whelan on a deal until the end of the season, a report from the Irish Independent has claimed.
Whelan had been a free agent after leaving Hearts earlier this month, having made 17 appearances in all competitions for the Scottish Premiership side, having joined them last summer following his release by Aston Villa in the aftermath of their promotion to the Premier League.
Prior to that move to Villa Park, Whelan had spent almost ten years of his career with Stoke City between 2008 and 2017, helping the club to establish themselves as a feature in the Premier League for nine straight seasons, with Whelan himself making well over 300 appearances in all competitions with the Potters.
According to the latest reports, Whelan is now back in England with Fleetwood, as he bids to earn himself a place in the Republic of Ireland squad for their Euro 2020 qualifying play-off with Slovakia in March.
Whelan has reportedly been training with the Cod Army recently after being invited to so by manager Joey Barton, and has now put pen to paper on a deal that will keep him at Highbury until the end of the campaign.
Fleetwood are currently 11th in the League One standings, four points adrift of the play-offs ahead of their trip to the Memorial Stadium to face Bristol Rovers on Saturday afternoon.
This looks like it could be a deal that suits all parties.
For Fleetwood, they are getting a player with plenty of experience and ability at the top level of English football, which could help them both on and off the pitch in their push for the play-offs and promotion.
Whelan meanwhile is getting the opportunity of the game time he needs to prove he is still capable of competing at a high level, ahead of that crucial international break for the Republic of Ireland in a couple of months time.
It will be interesting to see if that is how this proves to play out, both in terms of Fleetwood’s promotion aims and Ireland’s hopes of being at Euro 2020, making this unlikely deal, a rather important one.