Wednesday 29 January 2020

Irish exiles in Wolves limbo as transfer window looms

Kevin Doyle (left) and Stephen Ward (right) are both facing an anxious wait to find out if they can leave Wolves before the end of the transfer window. David Maher / SPORTSFILE
Kevin Doyle (left) and Stephen Ward (right) are both facing an anxious wait to find out if they can leave Wolves before the end of the transfer window. David Maher / SPORTSFILE
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Kevin Doyle and Stephen Ward are facing a tense wait to find out if they can leave Wolves before the close of the transfer window, with the Championship club unwilling to let the Irish pair depart on the cheap.

Both players are unwanted by boss Kenny Jackett and are part of a ‘bomb squad’ that also includes Kevin Foley and one-time Irish target Jamie O’Hara who are training away from the rest of the first-team group.

Tensions are growing between the players and the club due to the hierarchy’s reluctance to make concessions when met with enquiries from potential suitors.

The players are entering the final year of their contracts and are either looking to depart on a permanent move or agree a loan for the remainder of their term.

However, Wolves are not keen to pay a portion of the players’ salaries to facilitate a temporary switch, and have also made it clear that they would be looking for substantial transfer fees to allow a full-time exit.

Brighton are interested in bringing Ward back for another stint after he spent last season on loan with the play-off contenders, but no progress has been made due to the financial deadlock.

Chunk

Doyle, who is on a £40,000-a-week contract, would need Wolves to pay a chunk of his pay packet to make a loan possible. The exiled players are frustrated by their inactivity, believing they could help Wolves while their future remains up in the air.

But Jackett is determined to plough on without them. Clarity is expected before the end of the month, yet the Irishmen face being stuck in limbo beyond August unless Wolves soften their stance in the meantime.

Meanwhile, Irish midfielder Stephen Quinn will have face-to-face talks with Hull City boss Steve Bruce to discuss his future.

Quinn also has a year remaining on his contract at the KC Stadium and Bruce has confessed that other clubs are circling around the well-regarded Dubliner.

The 28-year-old made just four league starts last term but was selected for May’s FA Cup final defeat to Arsenal following an impressive injury-free run.

“It’s a conversation I’ll have with him. I don’t want it to be broadcast,” said Bruce. “He has been fantastic for the club and I don’t want to just discard him. He’s still got something to offer. The big problem for Quinny is that he wants to play. That’s always the issue.

“Whether anything is going to happen we’ll have to wait and see. We’ve had one or two nibbles (for Quinn) but we’ve had nibbles for four or five of them and nothing’s come of it. That’s normal.

“I nibble away at this time of the year so you’ve got to expect the same.”

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