Republic of Ireland midfielder Glenn Whelan has linked up with Joey Barton after agreeing a deal with League One Fleetwood Town until the end of the season.

The 36-year-old Dubliner was a free agent after being released by Hearts earlier this month.

Whelan described his treatment by the club as "amateurish" and claimed he was "thrown under a bus" by new manager Daniel Stendel, who had questioned the veteran's leadership qualities.

Whelan has been Mick McCarthy's first-choice holding midfielder throughout the Euro 2020 qualification campaign but he'll come under pressure from a rejuvenated James McCarthy for a starting berth when March's play-off semi-final against Slovakia rolls around.

He needed to find a club as quickly as possible to aid his international ambitions, which he acknowledged as he sealed the switch to Fleetwood, who sit 11th in the table, four points off the play-off places.

"If I'm not playing, and I'm not playing well, then I've no chance internationally," Whelan told the club's website.

"Even though [the play-off] is in March, it's about staying fit and healthy and please God getting a few results to keep myself in contention." 

Meanwhile boss Barton is delighted to bring in a player of such calibre.

"When the opportunity arose to bring someone of Glenn's experience in to our squad, we moved quickly to get the deal done," he said.

"Glenn is hungry to play and we’re sure that he will bring the qualities that everyone knows he is capable of into our group.

"We lost some experience in this window with Peter Clarke leaving to join Tranmere, so to bring someone in like Glenn who has been the captain of his country, is really important for our squad.

"This is an exciting signing for the club, and we look forward to seeing him in action."