Brentford reject Burnley bid for in-demand Irishman Judge
Burnley have angered Brentford by making a bid for Irish winger Alan Judge ahead of tonight's Championship meeting between the sides.
Judge, who is expected to win a first cap in March, has been the subject of persistent transfer speculation during this window with an offer from Sheffield Wednesday already turned down. Promotion-chasing Burnley have now lodged their interest in the 27-year-old, leaving Brentford boss Dean Smith unhappy with the timing.
He did indicate, however, that Judge is aware of a transfer figure that could change his situation.
"I think it's key to keep him," said Smith, "It can be unsettling but Alan gets on with his game. He's got a valuation to this club and he's been kept in the loop all along.
"Maybe Burnley's timing is not right but it depends on how you look at it with a game on Friday against them. I'd hope to keep Alan - he's been a big player so far this season."
Celtic have agreed a loan deal with Dundee United for Anthony Stokes, but it's unclear if the player is interested in relocating. His former club Hibernian want to bring the Dubliner on board and there are strong suggestions that he would favour a return to Easter Road.
One Irish striker who has completed a move is ex-League of Ireland striker Rory Gaffney. He has finally agreed a permanent transfer within League Two to Bristol Rovers from Cambridge after a successful loan spell.
Gaffney was in limbo as negotiations dragged on and he even lined out for Cambridge last weekend, but the Galwegian has now got the switch he wanted.
"I always kept believing in myself that if I got a run of games, I'd show people what I can do," said Gaffney, who scored five in seven for Rovers. "A month of football is a big change.
"The negotiations have been going on for a while. I got a phonecall from someone involved in Cambridge who told me it was a done deal."
Meanwhile, James McClean feels that West Brom's team spirit has carried them through some tight spots this season. McClean enjoyed his late equaliser at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday to disappoint Chelsea on a night where his combative style managed to rile the opposition.
The Derry native was thrilled to strike on his comeback from a three game ban.
"I don't score too many with my right foot so it was nice," he said. "No matter how it went in, I'm just delighted to get a goal to help the team get a result as well. And it's nice to get on the scoresheet after coming back from the suspension.
"This year we've come from behind against Arsenal, Spurs, and Liverpool. It shows the team spirit here, the battling qualities that are drilled into us day in, day out on the training ground and it's paying dividends for us on the pitch. We did some hard training in pre-season, the Rocky training, and we're a fit bunch of lads and we keep showing that with all the late goals."
In Norway, the PFAI's team of out of contract players finished third yesterday in the annual FIFPRO tournament. The side managed by Aidan Price and coached by Stephen Rice lost on penalties to Sweden in their semi-final after a scoreless encounter.
They went on to beat the hosts in the third/fourth-placed game with Marco Chindea striking the game's only goal.
Brentford v Burnley, Live Sky Sports 1, 7.45