FORMER Celtic midfielder Joe Ledley, 32, is on the look out for a new club.

The Wales international star is a free agent again after his short-term contract at Charlton expired.

Ledley became a favourite of the Hoops fans following his arrival in the summer of 2010 when Neil Lennon signed him on a free from Cardiff City. He remained until January 2014 when he was surprisingly sold to Crystal Palace for a cut-price £800,000.

He had another short stint at Derby, but left by mutual consent in February last year. He joined Lee Bowyer’s outfit last month as emergency cover for the Championship side.

The skilful middle-of-the-park operator won three titles and two Scottish Cup at Parkhead before his switch to Selhurst Park.

Ledley, speaking to BBC Sport, said: “There are options, but 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. For me, it’s coming up to the final year, so I need to play as many games as I can.”

Ledley has also made 77 appearances for his country and was a member of Chris Coleman’s side that reached the semi-finals of Euro 2016.

FILIP BENKOVIC, the popular Croatian defender linked with another loan deal at Celtic, has suffered a setback in his Leicester City debut.

The skilful 22-year-old centre-back made his long-awaited first appearance for the Midlands side after joining the club in a £14million deal from Dinamo Zagreb in July 2018.

Benkovic spent last season at the Hoops before catching up with Brendan Rodgers at the King Power stadium.

After waiting patiently for his opportunity, he was finally handed a chance in the FA Cup-tie against Wigan which the Foxes won 2-0.

However, 67 minutes into an impressive display, Benkovic had to leave the pitch with a knee injury, He now faces an anxious wait to discover his scan results.

At the same time, there now appears no chance of the player arriving at Parkhead in a short-term deal.

His compatriot, Jozo Simunovic, who has been out since a knee operation in September, is now on his way back to give Neil Lennon some much-needed defensive options.

LIAM SMITH, the Kilmarnock wonderboy, has sealed a £200,000 switch to English champions Manchester City.

The 17-year-old winger has ended months of speculation by agreeing a four-year deal.

Smith, a Scotland youth international, was the subject interest from a posse of clubs, including Liverpool and Rangers.

However, the youngster, from Stevenson in Ayrshire, will join the City academy on a scholarship next week, before a three-year professional contract kicks in from June.



About Author


Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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