Stoke announce Pennant exit
6:41am Saturday 25th January 2014 in © Press Association 2014
Stoke have announced winger Jermaine Pennant has left the club.
A statement on the Staffordshire outfit's website on Saturday confirmed Pennant had departed after they opted not to activate a clause in his contract that would have extended it until the end of the season.
The 31-year-old is now free to look for a new club, and the statement added: "The Potters would like to thank Jermaine for his efforts as a City player and wish him good luck for the future."
Pennant had been heading for the Britannia Stadium exit over the summer before being granted a reprieve by Mark Hughes, who succeeded Tony Pulis as Potters boss in May.
Stoke had announced in early July that, with his contract coming to an end, Pennant would be leaving, but later that month they confirmed he had signed a new one-year deal with them.
However, Pennant has featured just 11 times under Hughes and is now looking to get his career back on track elsewhere.
"I met with the manager and he was honest with me, which I appreciated," Pennant was quoted as saying by the Daily Mirror.
"I wasn't playing and at 31 now I need to be playing games.
"I'd like to thank the club for the opportunity of a new challenge and would like to thank everyone at Stoke City and the fans for the fantastic support over the last few years.
"I'm looking forward to the new chapter in my life."
The former England Under-21 international initially joined the Potters in August 2010 when he was signed by Pulis on loan from Spanish side Real Zaragoza, and the switch was made permanent later in the 2010-11 season.
Pennant has made more than 80 appearances for Stoke but after featuring only twice last term - both appearances coming in August - he moved to Wolves for a three-month loan spell.
He arrived at Stoke with a reputation for getting into trouble off the pitch, and in the 2011-12 season he denied reports he had been fined by the club for twice breaking a curfew ahead of matches.
Then, at the end of that campaign, he was given an eight-week jail sentence, suspended for a year, and was disqualified from driving for three years after he admitted drink-driving.