LEE CLARK is delighted at the prospect of bringing Danny Ward back to Town.
While the Galpharm club continue to play down speculation that Gary Roberts is set to leave, his fellow winger Ward has signed a three-year contract.
Town will pay an undisclosed fee to Premier League Bolton for the Bradford-born 19-year-old, who scored four goals in 10 games on loan last season.
His capture is a big boost following the departure of Anthony Pilkington to Norwich, and Clark said: “He’s an outstanding player and a good character.
“He fitted in really well with the group during his time with us last season, and we all go to know him.
“Danny showed he can both create and score goals, and at his age, we know he will get better still.
“I wanted to add to the wide options we already have, and when the opportunity to bring Danny back came up, it really was a no-brainer.”
Ward will become Clark’s sixth close-season signing following Liam Cooper, Oscar Gobern, Donal McDermott, Tommy Miller and Calum Woods.
And Clark continued: “I’d like to thank the board for backing me and (Bolton manager) Owen Coyle for the way he has handled the negotiations.
“We’re excited about bringing Danny to the club and about working with him both in pre-season and beyond.”
Ward, who pulled out of Bolton’s tour of the USA to hold talks with Town, has had to make do with two substitute appearances for Wanderers, who signed him from Leeds two years ago.
But the former Swindon and Coventry loan player agreed a new three-year contract last September and was expected to be handed a top-flight opportunity this season.
While Roberts is reported to be a target of Southampton, sources at the Galpharm insist there has been no contact from the South coast club regarding the 27-year-old winger.
The former Ipswich man has been offered an extension to his Town contract, which currently runs until next summer, but hasn’t yet put pen to paper.
Leeds and Crystal Palace have also been linked with the former Liverpool junior who made his name at Accrington Stanley and joined Town for a reported £250,000 three years ago.
Roberts, who has played 147 times for Town, scoring 37 goals, didn’t feature in Saturday’s opening pre-season friendly at Gateshead.