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Monday 25 September 2017

'Whelan deal our best-ever' says Stoke chief Scholes

Glenn Whelan. Photo: PA
Glenn Whelan. Photo: PA

He's about to leave the club after a successful spell there, but Glenn Whelan is still regarded by Stoke City as one of their best-ever purchases on the transfer market.

Whelan (33) is under contract with Stoke for another season but earlier this month the club told the midfielder that he would be allowed to leave, if an offer came in that suited Stoke and the player.

Championship sides Derby County and Aston Villa are strongly linked with Whelan but their offers have yet to match Stoke's valuation of £1million.

Whelan, currently working on his coaching badges in Ireland on an FAI scheme along with international team-mates John O'Shea and Paul McShane, cost Stoke just £500,000 when he joined from Sheffield Wednesday and Stoke CEO Tony Scholes knows that was real value for money.

"You could almost argue that Glenn goes down pound-for-pound as one of our best- ever signings, given the appearances he's made," Scholes said.

"He's been a magnificent servant and I'm sure will remain so unless and until that situation changes."

Whelan has seen off a series of challengers for his position in his time at Stoke, but with the arrival of Darren Fletcher and his age (33), the Dubliner may not get as much game time in the Premier League next term.

Derby, who have Whelan's compatriots Richard Keogh, Alex Pearce and Cyrus Christie in the squad, are keen on the veteran if tthey can beat the offer of £500,000 already made by Aston Villa, Whelan could be on his way to join the Irish contingent at the Rams.

In other transfer news, Bury boss Lee Clark says he has high hopes for the new arrivals at the ambitious League One club, including Irish boys Eoghan O'Connell (signed from Celtic) and Jay O'Shea (ex-Sheffield United).

Both players turned down other offers to join Bury and Clark is excited by their arrival. "Eoghan is a lad that I know very well. I tried to take him to Kilmarnock on loan from Celtic, but at the time the lad wanted to try his hand in the English game and he went on loan to Walsall. I kept my eye on him and for me, he handled League One very well," says Clark.

"Jay has a good goal ratio, a good assist ratio and that is something we want from our attacking players. We want players that can make, and score goals."

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