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Tuesday 25 September 2018

Wilson set to leave Cherries amid Cats link

Marc Wilson. Pic: Sportsfile
Marc Wilson. Pic: Sportsfile

Marc Wilson will join the Irish exodus from the Premier League in the coming days as Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe has confirmed that Wilson is set to leave the Cherries.

Wilson joined Bournemouth from Stoke 12 months ago but the move was a disaster as he failed to make a single Premier League appearance for them, spending time on loan to WBA.

The 29-year-old has a year to run on his contract with the Cherries but when Wilson was not given a squad number last week by Howe for the coming Premier League season, it was clear he was not in the manager's plans.

And Howe says that Wilson and Lewis Grabban are due to move. "I think there is a good chance both players may look to leave the football club in this window," says Howe.

"But the club would obviously have to receive the right offer. Obviously, I have to make some difficult choices and work with the players I feel are going to participate during our season. Unfortunately, I'm going to have to make some tough calls."

While West Brom boss Tony Pulis, who had Wilson on loan last season and also worked with him at Stoke, is keen to sign the Antrim man, Wilson may be forced to drop down to the Championship.

Sunderland, who already have John O'Shea, Darron Gibson and Aiden McGeady on the books, have also been linked.

Already this season, four members of Martin O'Neill's squad have left behind Premier League clubs and dropped into the second tier: Aiden McGeady (Everton to Sunderland), Glenn Whelan (Stoke to Aston Villa), Darren Randolph (West Ham to Middlesbrough) and Daryl Murphy (Sunderland to Nottingham Forest).

Due to injury and lack of first team football, Wilson has been off the radar at international level and has not started a competitive game for Ireland since the draw at home to Scotland in the Euro 2016 qualifiers.

Richard Keogh, Shane Duffy and now Kevin Long have emerged and take up the central defensive slots in the squad and Wilson, who turns 30 next month, faces a battle to get a place in the panel for the remainder of the World Cup qualifying campaign.

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