Friday 24 March 2017

Exclusive - Aussie club preparing to make offer to Dundalk star Daryl Horgan

Daryl Horgan, left, of Dundalk celebrates after scoring with team-mate Brian Gartland
Daryl Horgan, left, of Dundalk celebrates after scoring with team-mate Brian Gartland

John Fallon

Daryl Horgan's stellar displays for Dundalk have attracted the attention of Damien Duff’s former club, Melbourne City, and the Australian A-League side are weighing up an approach to recruit the Galway man.

The 24-year-old has been in scintillating form this season as the Lilywhites battle on three fronts and a string of Championship clubs are interested in signing him on a free once Dundalk’s historic Europa League run finishes.

Amongst the clubs to scout him recently, Manchester City, are not considering a move but have alerted Melbourne City and New York City, also owned by Abu Dhabi United Group, China Media Capital and CITIC Capital.

Of the two other international clubs, it’s understood the Australian outfit have stepped up their pursuit and are interested in opening negotiations when Horgan assesses the many options available to him at the end of the season.

Melbourne, who finished fourth in last season’s A-League, are managed by former Dutch international John van’t Schip and play at the 30,000 seater AAMI Stadium.

Dubliner Duff – who has been likened to Horgan in both appearance and style – spent a year at the club between 2014 and 2015 before moving back to Ireland and signing for Shamrock Rovers.

Financially, Melbourne could offer a long-term contract and salary equivalent to many English Championship clubs but whether Horgan would want to relocate down under at a relatively young age remains to be seen.

Ireland manager Martin O’Neill has come increasing pressure to promote Horgan to his squad and may not be convinced the Australian league provides a sufficient platform to warrant international recognition.

Still, a year or two in a different scene to the conventional route of the modern-day footballer may appeal to Horgan.

Duff spoke fondly of his time there, especially the lifestyle it provided for his young family, and the guarantee of regular football could be a factor.

As Richie Towell has discovered since joining Brighton and Hove Albion in January, moving cross-channel is no certainty to delivering game-time.

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