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Free agent Joe Ledley is training with a League One club with view to deal

Free agent Joe Ledley is in training with a League One club with a view to a deal following a stint in Australia last year.

The Welsh midfielder is reportedly training with Bristol Rovers as both sides look at the possibility of a deal, according to Bristol Live.

Ledley was in the East Stand at the Memorial Ground on Tuesday watching his potential new side beat Portsmouth 3-1.

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A post shared by Joe Ledley (@joe16led)

The Gas need to fill a position in their squad following injuries suffered to Abu Ogogo and Josh Barrett since the January transfer window shut, and 34-year-old Ledley is ready and raring to go.

The central midfielder has enjoyed an impressive career at both domestic and international level, playing more than 200 games for boyhood club Cardiff City, winning three Scottish titles with Celtic and starting in the Euro 2016 semi-final for his country.

Ledley has earned himself a decent 77 caps for Wales, with his last appearance coming in 2018.

No deal has been agreed yet, with both parties having assessing their options. Bristol Rovers, perhaps, have a more pressing need for attackers, but it’s not to say they they aren’t considering him.

Ledley hasn’t played since August 2020 after his time at Newcastle Jets in the A-League came to an end. The Gas are running an eye over the former Derby County and Charlton Athletic holding midfielder to see if he can make an impact in the run in.

Ledley and his family are based in South Wales, and there is a feeling the move could be ideal for all parties should the 34-year-old prove his fitness. His presence and pedigree has been well received by the coaches and squad on the training ground.

Ahead of Saturday’s visit to Gillingham, caretaker manager and director of football Tommy Widdrington was asked if the club were still active in the free agent market.

“We’re exploring,” he replied. “We keep trying to turn over rocks and find things that other people wouldn’t find, but that’s a difficult thing to do.

“With contacts and historical knowledge, we’re aware of one or two people who may be available to us, but it’s got to be the right fit.

“It’s an option we’ll keep open. If the managerial situation changes, then that person will have a say in that.”

There was a few occasions that he was in training with League Two club Newport County, though a deal never came to fruition despite manager Michael Flynn not ruling out a move for him.

Ledley told BBC Sport Wales on his hopes to return to the Wales squad: “Of course. I’ve said it from day one it’s just the greatest honour of my career, playing for your country and (having) your nation behind you is the best feeling ever so we’ll see what happens.

“I’ll never rule it out and I’m sure the manager won’t either but it’s down to me now to find a club and play as many games as I can. My boy is two, he’s into his football and he wants to watch me play for my country and at a club as well.”

“There are options, but for me I’d like to be closer to home. I’ve been away – only for a month – and family comes first for me now.

“Everyone’s moved back to Cardiff for the first time in nine or 10 years so closer to home would be perfect, but for me it’s coming up to the final year so I need to play as many games as I can.”

In November he was linked with Newport. He said on that: “Yeah I spoke to Flynnie he’s a great guy. We’ve kept in contact for a while but I don’t know if it’s possible.

“I’m not sure what’s going to happen but he’s a great manager. He’s very young, he’s the sort of manager that I like to work under. It is close to home so I’ll speak to him and see what happens.”


Youth career
1996–2004 – Cardiff City

Senior career
2004–2010 – Cardiff City – 229 games (27 goals)
2010–2014 – Celtic – 106 games (20 goals)
2014–2017 – Crystal Palace – 83 games (6 goals)
2017–2019 – Derby County – 30 games (2 goals)
2019–2020 – Charlton Athletic – 1 game (0 goals)
2020 – Newcastle Jets – 6 games (0 goals)

National team
2003–2004 – Wales U17 – 6 games (0 goals)
2004–2005 – Wales U19 – 3 games (0 goals)
2005–2008 – Wales U21 – 5 games (0 goals)
2005– Wales – 77 games (4 goals)

Fans reacted as they discovered free agent Joe Ledley is training with the League One club with view to deal…

@LuceFord_: Joe Ledley is training with Rovers at the moment then, I would not be against giving him a short term contract!

@KyleCurranUOD: This will be a good signing for Bristol Rovers

@BRFCSamuel: Yes bloody please

@FinchyP77: Yes please would bring in the experience we need

@iamhighlystrung: Bloody hell really? Yes, sign him up

@markmcburney: Would be well up for that but surely no shortage of offers for him elsewhere and higher than us?

@matthewjamesali: Would make sense seeing as he wants to be back closer to home (he has recently had a new house built in Penarth). Think he was quite keen on County but there seems to have been a stumbling block.. probably wages

@Laurencereade: How the hell is he out of contract???

@ashleyjohnjohns: I’ll take him without a shadow of a doubt

@Ryann_BRFC_95: Wait! What?! 🤩🤩

@Oldgschicken: 😍😍😍😍

@PirateGashead: Another midfielder? Still.. a big name, would like to see it happen

@Louisgough8: Be gd signing that

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