Ipswich Town have agreed a deal to sign former Ireland defender Stephen Ward following his exit from Stoke City, Football Insider can reveal.

The 34-year-old left-back has been a free agent since he was let go by Stoke at the end of the Championship season three weeks ago.

Ward has made it clear to prospective clubs he wants to extend his playing career and joined Ipswich for pre-season training.

A source at the League One club has told Football Insider that talks over a potential deal have now resulted in a breakthrough and the 50-times international is now set to sign on a free transfer.

The terms of the deal have been agreed and he is in line to put pen to paper imminently ahead of an announcement.

Ward started 15 games for Stoke last season and played a role in their successful fight against relegation.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

He was then released by manager Michael O’Neill when his contract expired to end a spell at the club that lasted just one year.

Ward has also accumulated extensive experience playing for Wolves, Burnley and Brighton in the Premier League and Championship.

He has a mammoth 239 Wolves appearances under his belt as well as 113 at Burnley and 47 at Brighton.

Ipswich’s swoop for Ward comes as Stoke are one of the Championship big guns trying to prise their own star man Kayden Jackson from Portman Road.

Football Insider revealed last week that the Potters are rivalling Birmingham City and newly-promoted Coventry City for the signature of the 26-year-old after he rejected a new Ipswich contract.

In other news, Stoke City plan to get £10million star off the wage bill after chiefs make up minds.