Bristol Rovers are ready to make a move for Plymouth Argyle defender James Wilson according to a report by Bristol Live.
Earlier today, it was revealed that Wilson would not be remaining with the League One winners, as the club withdrew the contract offer they had previously placed on the table for the defender to remain with them. The new deal was ready for the Welshman to sign, however, the deadline had expired without the 34-year-old’s agreeing to a new deal. The news of Wilson’s failure to sign a new deal comes after Dan Scarr, Ryan Hardie and Jordan Houghton all signed new deals with Plymouth.
This means the defender will become a free agent when his contract expires at the end of June and Rovers manager Joey Barton is keen to swoop for the 34-year-old, who began his career with city rivals Bristol City amongst their academy ranks. Wilson is capped once for Wales at an international senior level.
Wilson joined from Ipswich Town on a free transfer in the summer of 2021 and went on to make 95 appearances, a regular in this season’s title-winning side, making 41 appearances this season with the Pilgrims and scoring once for the club as they secured a return to the Championship.
The defender has experience with trophies across the EFL, in the 2018/19 season, he joined Lincoln City and was part of their team that won the League Two title. During his time with the Imps, he made 16 appearances before suffering an ankle injury and his contract was terminated by mutual consent at the end of that season.
Bristol Rovers are looking to move up the football ladder, last season saw Joey Barton’s men finish in 17th, eight points clear of the relegation places. Barton has not been shy in the past of his ambition to guide the club to promotion but the English manager will know signings are needed to achieve that goal. Finishing in 17th shows that there is a lot of work needed to be done and keeping star striker Aaron Collins will be on their list of priorities to work towards that.
The report by Bristol Live states that Wilson will be undergoing a medical with the club later this week, with personal terms already agreed upon, as Rovers made the defender their number one priority target this summer transfer window and it appears they have snatched their target from under Argyle’s nose.
Barton also discussed Wilson in an interview at the end of last season, as he highlighted the defender when discussing influential figures within the teams who were challenging for promotion. According to Bristol Live, it was not just Barton keen on the Welsh defender, with members of the club higher up also in agreement he was what the club needed.
It is no surprise that clubs in League One are interested in adding the defender to their ranks, Wilson displays a number o leadership qualities and at 34 years old is still capable of performing at this level. The strength and leadership displayed will be just what Rovers need, with the club struggling in the defensive department in recent seasons. Wilson’s experience winning trophies could be just what the club needs as Barton looks to elevate his team.