Glenn Whelan: Republic of Ireland midfielder joins Joey Barton's League One side

Glenn Whelan
Glenn Whelan was released by Hearts just four months into a one-year deal

Republic of Ireland midfielder Glenn Whelan has joined League One side Fleetwood Town until the end of the season after being released by Hearts.

Whelan, who helped Aston Villa to Premier League promotion last term, said the manner of his exit from the Scottish Premiership club made him feel like he had been "thrown under a bus".

The 36-year-old's move to Highbury will see him play under his former Manchester City team-mate Joey Barton.

"Glenn is hungry to play," said Barton.

The Fleetwood boss said former Stoke City and Sheffield Wednesday man Whelan is an "exciting signing for the club" and an "important" one after experienced former Everton and Huddersfield defender Peter Clarke joined Tranmere.

"When the opportunity arose to bring someone of Glenn's experience in to our squad, we moved quickly to get the deal done," Barton told the club website.

"We're sure that he will bring the qualities that everyone knows he is capable of into our group."

Hearts manager Daniel Stendel defended his approach to the several squad changes he made during January, including Whelan's departure and stripping Christophe Berra of the captaincy, with the German saying he felt he was "doing his best for the club".

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