Stoke City manager Michael O’Neill has admitted that winger James McClean is free to leave the club this summer.
McClean has seemingly found himself down the pecking order at The Bet365 Stadium this season, having not featured in the Potters’ 3-2 win over Reading on the opening day of the league campaign, or in the 2-1 win over Fleetwood in the first round of the Carabao Cup on Tuesday.
Now it seems as though Stoke are looking to move McClean on this summer, with the 32-year-old currently training with the club’s Under 23s, although interest may not exactly be forthcoming at the moment.
Speaking about the situation McClean finds himself in at the moment, O’Neill was quoted by the Stoke Sentinel as saying: “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.”
Since joining Stoke from West Brom back in the summer of 2018, McClean has made a total of 111 appearances in all competitions for the club, scoring 12 goals.
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As things stand, there are just 12 months remaining on McClean’s contract with Stoke, meaning he could leave the club for nothing at the end of this season, if no sort of deal is agreed either way before then.
It does seem to make sense for Stoke to look to move McClean on before the end of the summer transfer window.
With just a year remaining on the winger’s contract with the Potters, this is their last chance to receive a fee for him, so it makes sense for them to look to do that while they can.
Indeed, even last season it did seem as though McClean was starting to slide down the pecking order with the Potters, so you do feel as though they will be able to cope without him going forward.
For McClean himself, you do feel as his experience and proven ability at this sort of level could make him an appealing target for some clubs, and it will be interesting to see if any do make a move for him following this admission from O’Neill.