Blackpool see off competition from Rotherham to land former Ipswich winger

The Seasiders have signed winger Grant Ward on a free transfer
The Seasiders have signed winger Grant Ward on a free transfer
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Blackpool have seen off competition from League One rivals Rotherham United to land the signing of former Ipswich Town winger Grant Ward.

READ MORE: Blackpool boss Simon Grayson expects to strengthen Seasiders’ squad in January

The 25-year-old has penned an initial 18-month contract with the Seasiders with the club holding the option to extend by a further 12 months.

Ward, who has predominately played as a right winger during his career, has most recently been at Ipswich Town, where he made 98 appearances and scored eight goals.

The attacking midfielder has been recovering from a knee ligament injury since Christmas 2018 and has remained with Ipswich during his rehabilitation despite being released during the summer.

He scored a 39-minute hat-trick on his debut for the Tractor Boys in their 4-2 win over Barnsley in August 2016.

Prior to joining Ipswich for an undisclosed fee (believed to be £600,000) from Tottenham Hotspur, Ward impressed on loan at Rotherham United, winning the club's young player of the season and goal of the season awards in 2016.

Millers boss Paul Warne recently went on record to signal his interest in bringing Ward back to the club.

It has been reported by the Rotherham Advertiser that the Yorkshire club - who Pool play on New Year's Day - made the winger an offer that would have made him one of the club's highest earners.

But it is the Seasiders who have landed his signature.

Chief executive Ben Mansford said: "We are delighted to have signed Grant.

"There was a lot of competition for his signature. I trust the fact that Grant chose Blackpool shows that we are firmly back in terms of attracting some of the best talent for this league, as well as evidencing the ambition and intent that Simon Sadler has brought to the club.

“Grant is a young man with his best years ahead of him, who comes having had a good upbringing at Tottenham and proven experience of League One and in particular the Championship.

"Grant’s aspiration to be playing back in the Championship matches ours. Grant will add competition to the squad and this signing will start off our winter recruitment plans.

"Welcome Grant.”

Ward, who won't be available for selection for tomorrow's trip to Tranmere Rovers, added: “I’ve spoken to the manager and the owner and they’ve welcomed me with open arms.

"I’m coming to a team that wants to progress and the owner wants the area to do well. I’m excited to be part of it.”