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Michael O'Neill set to bring in Northern Ireland midfielder as first signing for Stoke City

 

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Jordan Thompson looks set to join Michael O'Neill's Stoke City.

Jordan Thompson looks set to join Michael O'Neill's Stoke City.

PMAKER

Jordan Thompson looks set to join Michael O'Neill's Stoke City.

Michael O'Neill is poised to make his first signing as Stoke City manager by bringing in one of his international midfielders.

The Northern Ireland chief is understood to be closing in on a deal to bring Blackpool's Jordan Thompson to the Championship.

O'Neill gave the 23-year-old his senior international debut in May 2018 and Thompson has since gone on to pick up seven caps.

He had been linked with a move to England's second tier last month, with O'Neill understood to be keen. Now the boss is closing in on his man as he attempts to boost his side's survival bid.

“Jordan’s a player I know, obviously," the Stoke manager said, not hiding his interest. "He’s a young player with a lot of potential and he has broken into the senior Northern Ireland squad having been a mainstay of the under-21s team.

“I've seen him develop from being a very young player in the under-age groups in Northern Ireland. He's a player with a big, big future ahead of him.

“He’s obviously a Blackpool player and we shouldn’t comment too much on it while that remains the case.”

Blackpool boss Simon Grayson admitted there have been 'enquiries' about Thompson, although said there's nothing more concrete to add to the current speculation.

Thompson signed for the Tangerines from Rangers in 2018 and has gone on to play in 56 League One games, scoring four goals.

His only league goal this season was the eventual winner in a 2-1 victory over Lincoln City in September, a neat nutmeg followed by a curling finish into the bottom corner.

Stoke are currently one point and one position above the Championship relegation zone. It has so far been a frustrating transfer window for O'Neill but he's still hoping to add more players to his panel before the end of the month.

“We’re trying to be busy, without being reckless," he said.

“There were players who were coveted, we tried to put ourselves in a position to get those and we didn’t manage to do that; the loan players who have gone to teams higher up the league.

“Then obviously we’re looking at deals. I think what clubs will get involved in later in the window will either be loans or possibly swap deals with players as well.

“It’s proving quite difficult but equally we want to make sure the players we add to the squad are the right type, bring the right qualities and are the right age profile."

Belfast Telegraph