Window watch: Ipswich on alert as Ward transfer-listed
IRELAND full-back Stephen Ward has been transfer-listed by Wolves as they cut their wage bill ahead of life in League One, WRITES RUAIDHRI O'CONNOR.
The former Bohemians player is one of four big earners who will be allowed to leave Molineux this summer following their relegation from the Championship.
Ipswich are being linked with a move for the 27-year-old ( above), who was brought to England by their manager Mick McCarthy. The former Ireland boss is also being linked with goalkeeper Stephen Henderson who spent part of last season on loan from West Ham with Ipswich.
former Ireland left-back Ian Harte, who has been released by relegated Reading, is closing in on a move to Bournemouth.
Meanwhile, new Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini suffered the first significant blow to his summer transfer plans when it emerged that Spain winger Isco was on the verge of joining Real Madrid.
Isco (right) spent the past two years playing at Malaga under Pellegrini, and it had been hoped this personal link would help sway a potential £21m deal.
Real Madrid, however, mounted a rival bid after Isco's starring performances for Spain in the European U-21 Championship and City are now resigned to him staying in La Liga.
The Spanish giants are now far less likely to make a concerted move for Tottenham's Gareth Bale, while Isco's arrival at the Bernabeu will also help speed up Gonzalo Higuain's proposed £22m transfer to Arsenal.
Pellegrini is facing a major decision over the future of Carlos Tevez, who has only one year remaining on his contract.
Ireland U-21 defender Derrick Williams (right) is targeting a place in Giovanni Trapattoni's senior squad after completing his move to Bristol City from Aston Villa on a three-year deal, which he hopes will mean regular first-team football.
Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet will arrive at Liverpool for a medical today before finalising personal terms on an £11m-plus transfer.
Liverpool are also in advanced negotiations for Sporting Lisbon defender Tiago Ilori, while they are trying to hammer out a deal for £20m-rated Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Henrik Mkhitaryan.
Stoke chairman Peter Coates has confirmed the club are on the lookout for a new left-back this summer – and that Holland and PSV Eindhoven star Erik Pieters could be the man for the job.
Coates said: "We are certainly looking for a left-back. We haven't made any decision (on Pieters) because we are looking at options, but he's certainly a possibility."