Blackpool won't stand in Grant Ward's way if he wants to sign elsewhere

Michael Appleton says he’s more than happy to allow Grant Ward to continue to train with his Blackpool side while he explores other opportunities.

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It comes after Ward featured as a trialist during the pre-season friendlies against Rangers and Salford City in a bid to earn a new contract with the Seasiders.

But after the Salford game, Appleton admitted the midfielder was a “little bit off it”, casting doubt over a permanent return to Bloomfield Road.

In a fresh update, Appleton has revealed Ward continues to train with his squad but concedes he doesn’t want to get in the way of a potential move elsewhere.

“Grant is still training with us, but we’re obviously mindful of the fact I don’t want to stop him from taking opportunities elsewhere,” he told The Gazette.

“But at the same time, I’m more than happy - certainly in the short term - to allow him to continue his fitness work and come and train with us every day.”

Ward continues to train with the Seasiders

Ward had previously spent time on trial with fellow Championship side Reading earlier in June, having been released by the Seasiders at the end of last season.

Ward was let go after making just five appearances last term after suffering a ruptured achilles during the game against Bournemouth in August 2021.

To allow Ward to continue his rehabilitation, the midfielder was invited back for the start of Blackpool’s pre-season to help him work his way back to full fitness.

After taking part in the first few days, Appleton revealed the former Ipswich Town man had opted to link up with Reading - who the Seasiders face on the opening day of the season today.

But Ward returned to Bloomfield Road to feature as a trialist during Blackpool’s 2-1 defeat to Rangers, before starting the 1-0 win against Salford City before being brought off at half-time.

The Seasiders remain keen to bolster in central midfield after coming close to signing Oxford United’s Cameron Brannagan during the week.