CORK City star Daryl Horgan has emerged as a target for Dundalk after a trial with an English Championship club fell through, The Argus can reveal.
The 21-year-old winger, who was a nominee for PFAI Young Player of the Year 2013 along with the Lilywhites' Richie Towell and Patrick Hoban, was due to play in a trial for Barnsley this Friday, but the arrangement was cancelled after the Tykes sacked manager David Flitcroft at the weekend.
Dundalk have since stepped up their interest in the Under-21 international, although they will have to battle with several other top League of Ireland clubs for his signature, including Cork who have offered him a new contract.
Becaus of his young age there is also the issue of compensation, with a nominal fee understood to be due to the Leesiders should Horgan opt for a move. However, that issue should be surmountable if the player decides that Dundalk is his preferred destination, and the Galway-born ace is a known admirer of the Lilywhites squad and manager Stephen Kenny, having seen his in-form Cork side trounced 4-0 at Oriel Park towards the end of last season.
Horgan has spent the last two and a half seasons at Turner's Cross, having begun his career with Salthill Devon and then starting the 2011 season with Sligo Rovers. He even captured the attention of the Italian daily newspaper La Repubblica who put footage of a superb goal he scored against Drogheda on their website.
Meanwhile, Dundalk will go into the hat next Wednesday (11th) with seven other teams as the draw takes place at Aviva Stadium for the 2014 Setanta Sports Cup.
St Patrick's, Sligo Rovers and Shamrock Rovers are the other qualifiers from the Airtricity League, and they will be joined by Irish League counterparts Cliftonville, Glentoran, Crusaders and Linfield.
There will be quarter-finals and semi-finals home and away and will be drawn North v South where possible, and the final has been fixed for Saturday May 10th 2014.