Leeds United’s Championship rivals Stoke City have signed ex-Newcastle United and Aston Villa defender Ciaran Clark on a deal until the end of the 2023-24 season. The Whites head to the bet365 Stadium later this month in their second game after the international break.
They head to Norwich City on Saturday, October 21 before visiting Stoke on Wednesday, October 25. Clark is a Republic of Ireland international and has signed a deal with Stoke after being released by Newcastle in the summer following the end of his contract at St James’ Park. He has over 200 Premier League appearances to his name and helped Sheffield United earn promotion from the Championship during a loan spell last term.
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He was released by Newcastle at the end of last season after making 129 appearances for the club in all competitions. He played 159 times for Villa, scoring 10 goals in that time.
“I’ve missed the feeling of being in the dressing room and preparing week-to-week for Saturdays,” said the 34-year-old of his move to Stoke.
“I worked hard throughout pre-season and have kept myself in good shape since, so I am keen to get out there with the lads over the next couple of weeks, as the feeling of those sessions is something you can’t replicate alone. With the quality of players we have, if we find some consistency, I believe we can go on and have a good season.”
It is unclear if Clark will be available to face Leeds as he looks to get back to match fitness after being without a club since the beginning of June. Stoke City technical director Ricky Martin added: “Ciaran’s vast experience and understanding of how to be successful in the Championship make him a valuable addition to our squad.
“He gives us the cover we need at the back but, more than that, he’s a left-footed central defender which is a commodity in itself, as well as possessing all the pedigree and background to be a leader and cultural architect within our group. Ciaran has two weeks to train and acclimatise prior to our next block of Championship fixtures and we’ll be working hard to help him get up to speed as quickly and effectively as possible.”