Monday 27 March 2017

No joy for Walters as Stoke block move

Norwich also had two bids knocked back for the 31-year-old, who is in limbo because he has been unable to agree terms on a new deal at Stoke and formally lodged a transfer request on Monday night
Norwich also had two bids knocked back for the 31-year-old, who is in limbo because he has been unable to agree terms on a new deal at Stoke and formally lodged a transfer request on Monday night
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Late interest from Leicester City failed to tempt Stoke City into selling Jonathan Walters, with the Ireland international unable to secure a move despite being given permission by Martin O'Neill to report late for this week's Euro 2016 qualifiers.

Norwich also had two bids knocked back for the 31-year-old, who is in limbo because he has been unable to agree terms on a new deal at Stoke and formally lodged a transfer request on Monday night.

But it's understood that his employers wanted to secure a replacement before seriously entertaining offers for a player who is now in the final season of his contract.

Walters made light of his own situation when the transfer deadline closed, joking that Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal would be disappointed.

"Helicopter away for the year," he tweeted, "Sorry LVG, it's not happening."

One Irish striker who did secure a late move was Eoin Doyle, with the Dubliner agreeing a season-long loan move from Cardiff to Preston after the Welsh club refused an £850,000 offer.

Kevin Feely has severed his ties with Newport County after deciding that his immediate future lies away from football across the water. That will alert the GAA authorities in Kildare, who were disappointed when the ex-Bohemians defender upped sticks for Wales.

St Patrick's Athletic defender Sean Hoare will have to wait until next year before he goes across the water as Portsmouth were unable to push through a move for his services.

Ex-Longford starlet Josh O'Hanlon has joined Chester on a one-month loan from Bournemouth.

Elsewhere, West Ham youngster Josh Cullen signed a new three-year deal with the club, fresh from making his Premier League bow as a late sub at Anfield on Saturday.

The English-born 19-year-old received a double boost yesterday as he was called into Ireland's U-21 squad for the first time along with QPR's Reece Grego-Cox. Noel King has included the duo in his panel for Friday's friendly with Qatar and next Tuesday's Euro qualifier with Andorra.

Grego-Cox is a part of the QPR squad and featured in their top-flight run-in last term.

"They are quite young but already they have both played Premier League football, which is a great achievement for players that age," said King.

Ireland U-21 squad - Rogers (Aberdeen), Grimes (Leeds), Hoban (Watford), Rea (Brighton), Lenihan (Blackburn), Griffin (Reading), Browne (Preston), Connors (Dagenham), Connolly (Ipswich), Kavanagh (Fulham), O'Dowda (Oxford), Grego-Cox (QPR), Lenihan (Hull), Long (Reading), Wilkinson (Barnsley), Goodwin (Crawley), Maguire (Dundalk), Byrne (Everton), Cullen (West Ham).

Irish Independent

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