Jack Byrne training with Man City first team as Pellegrini set to offer Irishman new contract
One of Ireland's brightest prospects, Jack Byrne, is set to sign a new deal with Premier League champions Manchester City.
The former St Kevin's midfielder has been promoted to train with Manuel Pellegrini's first team ahead of their trip to Crystal Palace.
Byrne posted pictures of himself battling with David Silva, Jesus Navas, Edin Dzeko and Frank Lampard during training today.
And Independent.ie understands that the Dubliner is on the verge of signing a new contact with the club.
Byrne has proved a big hit at City since joining the Premier League champions at the age of 15, impressing his youth coach Patrick Vieira and former club striker Niall Quinn with his displays on the domestic and European stage.
He was integral to their surge into the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League Youth Cup last month, further underlining to Manuel Pellegrini his readiness to step into senior football.
A Premier League title run-in may not represent the ideal habitat for a teen like Byrne to be thrust into his first action but the experience of training with the club’s galaxy of stars will stand to the Dubliner when it comes to his next move.
That will likely involve a loan switch next term, though Byrne explains the club hierarchy apply a fussy approach to placing their young stars into the care of others.
“City won’t loan a player out just for the sake of it,” explains Byrne. “They’ll only do it with a club where the player will develop, get games and work to a similar philosophy.
“Of course, I’d love to go on loan but I’ll discuss it with the club when the time is right.”
Byrne, the youngest and strongest performer in Ireland’s U-21 victory over Andorra a week ago, admits that working under the Chilean is a breath of fresh air compared to the previous regime of Roberto Mancini.
“He (Mancini) would walk straight by you in the corridor without even saying hello,” said the Dub.
“Manuel Pellegrini has a lot of respect for the club’s Academy players and makes sure we keep involved in everything around the club.
“He’s brought the youths, U-21s and first-team much closer together now. Whereas we’d use different facilities to the first-team before, everything is open for all the squads now. It’s a real family atmosphere.”