Speaking with Bristol Live, Bristol Rovers boss Joey Barton has confirmed the club will not be pursuing a free transfer deal for experienced midfielder Joe Ledley.

The former Derby County and Charlton Athletic man is currently without a club after departing Australian side Newcastle Jets.

Reports emerged last month revealing Ledley was back in England on the hunt for a new club. League One side Bristol Rovers brought the former Wales international in on trial, sizing the midfielder up ahead of the potential swoop.

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Now, over two weeks since the reports emerged, the Gas’ stance has now been revealed.

Bristol Rovers boss Joey Barton has confirmed the club will not be pursuing a deal for Ledley. Following a trial period, Barton has said the 34-year-old “needs a pre-season” after a stint out of the game. As quoted by Bristol Live, he said:

“My opinion is he needs a pre-season. He’s missed a lot of time, coming out of Australia before the pandemic and at his age, you need to be training every day.

“I know from my experience of getting north of 30. It’s a different way of training to when you’re a young whippersnapper.

“Joe is obviously a talented boy. His CV and career attests to that. But, to throw him into a dogfight when he needs a pre-season would be wrong.”

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With his Rovers trial failing to materialise, the tough-tackling midfielder will continue in his hunt for a new club elsewhere.

Ledley is vastly experienced at Football League level, possessing plenty of pedigree at a high level. Following notable stints with Cardiff City, Celtic and Crystal Palace, the Welshman joined Derby in 2017. He spent just under two years with the Rams, playing 30 times for the club.

His most recent stint in England saw him spend two months with Charlton. Ledley’s time at The Valley was hampered by injury, limiting him to just one appearance for the Addicks.