Ex-Middlesbrough and Bolton Wanderers defender David Wheater is eyeing a return to the game. 

The centre-back has said on The Buff Podcast that he has spoken to Darlington boss Alun Armstrong about a potential move, as per a report by The Bolton News. 

Wheater, who is 34-years-old, hopes to be playing again by the start of 2022 after having back surgery.

He has been a free agent since being released by Oldham Athletic earlier this year.

Read: Former Bolton Wanderers midfielder snapped up by new club 

Hartlepool cool interest 

Hartlepool United have been monitoring his situation, as per a report by the Northern Echo, but will not be making a move for him.

This could open the door for non-league side Darlington to swoop in.

Middlesbrough days 

Wheater is a vastly experienced player in the Football League and has racked up over 400 appearances in his career to date.

He started his career at Middlesbrough and had early loan spells away as a youngster at Doncaster Rovers, Wolves and Darlington before breaking into Boro’s first-team.

The defender then went on to play 157 games for the Riverside club and chipped in with 11 goals.

Read: Hartlepool United open to loan departures

Bolton spell 

Wheater signed for Bolton in 2011 and spent eight years with the North West club.

He played 236 times for the Whites and bagged 16 goals from defence.

Wheater left the Trotters at the end of the 2018/19 season and was subsequently snapped up by Oldham.

He made 35 appearances for the Latics before they released him in March.