Veteran Wright joins Town as Bell heads for exit

Fleetwood Town have signed the former Premier League defender Alan Wright and have transfer-listed striker Andy Bell.

Veteran left-back Wright, 37, started his career with Blackpool before spending 12 years in the top flight with Blackburn and Aston Villa. He has made over 600 Football League and cup appearances and won two England Under-21 caps.

Bell's transfer-listing follows heart-to-heart talks with manager Micky Mellonk, who could not assure the 25-year-old of first-team starts next season.

Bell scored 46 goals in 96 starts for Pool, including 13 in 25 last season.

Wright made over 130 appearances for Blackpool after joining as a trainee in 1989. He moved on Blackburn two years later as Kenny Dalglish's first signing, and was sold for 1m during their Premiership title-winning season to Aston Villa, where he remained for eight years.

He has played for eight more League clubs since and spent last season at Cheltenham.

Fleetwood Town manager Micky Mellon was reacquainted with Wright during the summer at Lilleshall, where the pair completed their UEFA A coaching Licence.

Mellon said: "Alan is a quality signing for us. He brings a vast amount of top-flight experience and has played consistently well at the top level. Alan immediately picked up on the ambition at Highbury."

As for Bell, the manager added: "We had an honest conversation about what I had in mind for our starting line-up.

"The lad wants to feature regularly. At his age he needs first-team football and I couldn't assure him of a regular slot. Andy has been a major asset to Fleetwood Town.

Chairman Andy Pilley said: "Andy has made a tremendous contribution to Fleetwood Town and we are indebted to him for his prolific goal-scoring."

Wright is expected to make his first Town appearance away to Skelmersdale this afternoon (3pm).