Premier League heavyweights Arsenal are said to be open to the sale of Northern Ireland international defender Daniel Ballard amidst the interest from English Championship team Stoke City. This is according to the report from the stables of the London Evening Standard.
Northern Irish centre back Ballard will return to Arsenal this summer on the back of an impressive loan spell at Championship club Millwall. He had earlier spent some time on loan at fellow Championship team Blackpool last season. The Arsenal loanee was an integral part of the Blackpool squad that secured promotion to the English Championship from League One via the playoffs at the end of last season.
The aforementioned media outlet said Arsenal want to include a first option or buyback clause in any transfer for Ballard who has been extensively scouted by Stoke City.
Arsenal loaneeBallard impressed at The Den despite missing a lot of games due to injury. For now, it remains to be seen if London club Millwall would be able to sign him on a permanent deal. For now, Stoke City are a major threat to them in the race to sign him. The Potters were one of several Championship teams who scored the defender while he was playing in the colours of Millwall.
Arsenal are aware of the interest in Ballard who’s keen to play regularly. The centre back will most likely not get regular football if he returns to Arsenal for the new season. To this effect, a sale is the likely option for all the parties involved. Apart from Millwall and Stoke City, Welsh team Cardiff City, Queens Park Rangers (QPR) and Sheffield United are also admirers of the talented Ballard. Relegated Premier League team Burnley is also in the mix as far as the chase for Ballard is concerned.