By Pete O'Rourke

23rd Jan, 2020 | 6:00pm

Exclusive: Fleetwood work on deal to sign proven ace released by Aston Villa in '19

Fleetwood Town are working on a deal to sign Republic of Ireland midfielder Glenn Whelan on a free transfer this month, Football Insider understands.

The 36-year-old is currently without a club after being released by Scottish Premiership side Hearts following the appointment of Daniel Stendel as manager.

A source at Fleetwood has told Football Insider that the League One outfit are weighing up a move to take the former Aston Villa star on a short-term deal as manager Joey Barton looks to bolster his side.

Whelan is keen to fix himself up with a new club as soon as a possible as he wants to maintain his match sharpness ahead of the Republic of Ireland’s crucial Euro 2020 play-off against Slovakia in March.

He signed for Hearts by Craig Levein on a one-year deal in August – shortly after being released by Villa – and made 17 appearances, but was told he did not figure in Stendel’s plans soon after his appointment.

He boasts a wealth of experience having made over 600 appearances in his career to date, with 276 Premier League outings and 88 international caps.

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A number of clubs have shown an interest in his capture since leaving Tynecastle, with Fleetwood looking at offering him a deal until the end of the season.

Manager Barton wants to add to his squad before the window closes and Whelan’s guile and experience could make him an invaluable addition to his side.

Lancashire outfit Fleetwood are currently in 11th spot in the League table, four points outside the play-off spots.

In other Fleetwood Town news, it can be REVEALED how much the club were made to pay for one of their big winter deals.