Stephen Ward is edging closer to Wolves exit

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Stephen Ward's exit from Wolves today moved a step closer after it emerged he has contract offers from Brighton and Middlesbrough.

The Seagulls and Boro are the first clubs to make contact to indicate they are prepared to sign the 28-year-old left-back on a permanent basis.

But Premier League duo Burnley and Sunderland also have him on their radar and are waiting in the wings if a move to the south coast or Teesside falls through.

The next step is a meeting between Ward's representative and Wolves which is expected to come shortly to thrash out the Ireland international's 'exit strategy'.

But the indications are all parties want a quick resolution.

Ward has a year left on his £12,000-a-week contract which Brighton paid all of last season as he made 44 Championship appearances, scoring four goals and helping them to the play-off semi-finals, where they were beaten by Derby 6-2 on aggregate.

His consistency and success at the Amex Stadium means there may be some negotiating to be done over the fee.

Either way, Brighton would appear to be in the driving seat, although Ward may want reassuring over his place after manager Oscar Garcia walked out at the end of the season.

Boro currently have former Wolves man George Friend at left-back, but they have no cover for the one-time Exeter defender, who has a year left on his contract.

Ward has made 239 appearances for Wolves since his bargain signing for £100,000 in January 2007.

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