Whelan's Wolves move rests on boss Pulis finding midfield cover
IRISH midfielder Glenn Whelan is set to join Wolves before the end of the January transfer window, provided Stoke manager Tony Pulis can find a suitable replacement.
Mick McCarthy has been on the trail of Whelan for several months, with the 26-year-old frustrated by his lack of first-team opportunities this season.
West Brom want to bring him in on loan for the remainder of the campaign, while Newcastle have made enquiries, but Wolves are prepared to make a permanent move to add the Dubliner to their large Irish contingent.
However, it's understood to be contingent on whether Pulis can draft in another midfield option. Stoke are reluctant to sell otherwise and Whelan, who is on a good contract at the Britannia Stadium, is only willing to move to an attractive alternative at Premier League level.
A switch to Molineux would appeal to the ex-Manchester City and Sheffield Wednesday man.
A fee of £500,000 may be enough to bring in-form Irish striker Conor Sammon to the English Championship before the end of the month.
Barnsley and Scunthorpe had fresh £400,000 bids for the Kilmarnock front man refused yesterday.
Sammon had initially struggled in front of goal after joining the Scottish club from Derry City two and a half years ago. He has sprung into life this term, though, having scored 12 goals to date in the SPL.
That has alerted a posse of English clubs, with Cardiff monitoring his progress and Burnley also in the frame but, to date, Barnsley and Scunthorpe are the two clubs who have followed through on their interest in a player whose contract expires at the end of this season.
The situation could be affected by the fact that a couple more appearances will trigger an automatic 12-month extension in Sammon's contract, which might affect the asking price. Kilmarnock want the player to stay with a view to securing European qualification, yet they would find it difficult to refuse substantially increased offers.
Meanwhile, Celtic and a number of Championship clubs are waiting in the wings if Noel Hunt is unable to reach agreement on a new contract with Reading.
The Waterford man is approaching the end of his three-year deal and is keen to stay with the Berkshire club after striking up a solid partnership with Shane Long since his return from injury.
Nevertheless, the 27-year-old will have no shortage of options if the Madejski Stadium authorities fall short on his expectations. It's believed that Celtic would look to thrash out a pre-contract agreement.