Chicago Fire head coach Frank Yallop has revealed his attempts to bring Tottenham Hotspur’s Grant Ward back to the club in 2015 after being impressed with his performances during last season's loan stint.
In quotes from his media press conference covered on Chicago Fire Confidential, the former Ipswich Town defender acknowledged that Tottenham looked set to either keep hold of the promising winger for the rest of the season or loan him out to another English club instead.
"I've made numerous attempts to talk to Tottenham about Grant coming back,” he said. “The feeling once I first spoke to them was that they wanted to keep him there and evaluate how he's done with us in the six months and move from there.
“I haven't really had an answer back but I expect him not to be back next season. I like Grant and I'd love to have him back but I think Tottenham are exercising their right to keep the player on their books and obviously have a real good look at him under their radar, and see if he's somebody who is going to do well for them or loan him out somewhere else.
“There's always a bit of a push for us to get him again for a year but that wasn't from a lack of trying.”
Nevertheless, Yallop has not quite given up hope of Ward making a mid-season return in 2015, adding: “It might be something in the summer. I'd like to have Grant back because I think he did a nice job and I think he would have grown into the spot.
“We'll see. I'm still working on that one. It's not a definite no, but it doesn't look likely."
Ward, 20, made 12 starts in 23 regular-season appearances for the Fire after arriving from Spurs in May and, despite recording just one goal and two assists, left a lasting impression thanks to his lively performances on the flank.
He caught the attention of fans at White Hart Lane earlier this month after scoring two superb free-kicks in the U21 side’s 3-1 win against their West Ham United counterparts, although a first-team breakthrough seems far off at this point.
Also capable of filling in at full-back, Ward would no doubt benefit from some regular minutes elsewhere at this point in his career, but whether that’s in Chicago moving forward remains to be seen.