Jermaine Pennant signs deal with Bury after Tampines Rovers exit

Former Tampines Rovers attacker Jermaine Pennant is to make a return to English football with League One strugglers Bury.

The 34-year-old, who left Singapore at the end of October after a disappointing season in the S.League, has agreed a short-term deal with the club who are fighting relegation from England's fourth tier.

Pennant, the former Liverpool and Arsenal winger, has been training with Bury for a few weeks and will sign until the end of the season.

His low-key comeback will be in contrast to the fanfare of his arrival in the S.League one year ago when he became Singapore's biggest-ever signing and best-paid player -- at a reported S$40,000 per month.

But Tampines admitted mid-season that they were struggling to continue to pay the former England U21 winger, due to cash flow issues.

After a promising start following a successful trial, and a few good performances in front of large crowds, Pennant's form for Tampines tailed off in the 2016 season. Despite one of the best squads in S.League history, the Stags failed to claim a trophy, with Albirex Niigata (S) claiming an unprecedented quadruple.

Pennant was even left out of the starting lineup for October's Singapore Cup final against Albirex because coach Akbar Nawas admitted that he had been sub-par on the training pitch.

The game turned out to be Pennant's last appearance on Singapore soil, and he returned to the U.K. two days later.

Instead of adopting his trademark wide position, Pennant preferred to act as a deep-lying playmaker, similar to Italy's Andrea Pirlo. But he made minimal impact as Tampines finished second behind Albirex in the S.League. Pennant is unlikely to play in Bury's match against Port Vale on Friday because his international clearance hasn't come through.