James McClean training with Stoke U23s and 'available to other clubs'

Michael O’Neill has confirmed the Ireland winger is free to leave.

James McClean (file pic).
James McClean (file pic).
Image: PA

STOKE BOSS Michael O’Neill has confirmed the club are willing to listen to offers for Ireland international James McClean.

The Derry native was previously left out of a pre-season squad trip, prompting doubts surrounding his future.

And asked about the out-of-favour player, per the Stoke Sentinel, O’Neill said: “James is part of the Under-23s and training with them. He’s available to other clubs but as yet no other clubs have taken up that option as far as I understand.”

McClean’s lack of game time is more frustrating news for Stephen Kenny.

One important left-sided player, Enda Stevens, has been ruled out of the World Cup qualifiers, with the Sheffield United star recently suffering a knee injury.

McClean and Ryan Manning are the obvious alternatives to Stevens on the left side, though Celtic-linked Liam Scales could be in line for a first call-up having impressed with Shamrock Rovers of late.

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In addition to McClean, another Irish player in the news today was Aaron Connolly, with Brighton boss Graham Potter explaining the 21-year-old missed the win over Burnley for “personal reasons”.

There was one piece of good news for Kenny, however, as Shane Duffy made his first Premier League start for the Seagulls in over a year.

About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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