Friday 28 July 2017

I fancy overseas challenge, says Wales' Joe Ledley

Joe Ledley, right, admits he could move abroad this summer after being released by Crystal Palace.
Joe Ledley, right, admits he could move abroad this summer after being released by Crystal Palace.

Wales midfielder Joe Ledley could be tempted by a move abroad as he weighs up his career options this summer.

Ledley made nearly 100 appearances for Crystal Palace after joining from Celtic in January 2014.

But he was frozen out by then-Eagles boss Sam Allardyce during the second half of the 2016-17 season and released by the Premier League club last week.

"It's been frustrating," Ledley said after helping Wales to a 1-1 World Cup qualifying draw in Serbia on Sunday night.

"I don't know why I've not been even in the squads, but it was the decision of the manager and I had to deal with it and get on with it.

"Things move on, I've left and hopefully I can get a new team now.

"It's definitely for the best. I spent three-and-a-half years at the club and gave my all there and I think the fans know that.

"But when you're not getting picked for as long as I wasn't then you have to do something about it.

"I need to be playing, especially at my age having turned 30 now.

"I want to continue playing for as long as I can."

Ledley started out at his hometown club Cardiff and there was talk that he could return to the Sky Bet Championship side.

But that emotional return has been ruled out and Ledley says clubs have already shown an interest in him, including many from overseas.

He said: "There's been clubs in touch with my agent all over the world.

"I'd be prepared to go abroad, I think it would appeal to me, especially having played international football because I love playing on that stage and I think it suits the way I play.

"There's been Championship and Premier League clubs in touch, a lot of interest, but I want to have a good summer with the family first.

"I'll see the options I have and go from there."

Ledley's last game for Palace was over four months ago at the start of February.

In that time he has played only twice as Wales drew in the Republic of Ireland and Serbia to keep their World Cup hopes alive.

Yet he still managed to last the full game in the sapping Belgrade heat on Sunday.

"I wasn't surprised I played 90 minutes, I've got it in me to do that," Ledley said.

"I know I haven't played much football this season, I should have, there were reasons that it did not happen.

"But I felt good out there, especially with Joe (Allen) alongside me.

"He helped me through it."

Press Association

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