Cardiff splash cash on Irish star Eoin Doyle

Eoin Doyle

By Aidan Fitzmaurice

FORMER League of Ireland man Eoin Doyle will become Irish football's latest €1million player when he completes his move to Championship side Cardiff City later today.

With 21 goals in League One for Chesterfield this season, making him the leading scorer in all divisions in England, Doyle was very much in demand as the transfer window was about to close.

Championship sides Blackburn, Sheffield Wednesday and Rotherham United had all considered a move for the 26-year-old, while Chesterfield's ambitious League One rivals Sheffield United and Preston were also keen.

But Cardiff, currently mid-table in the Championship, have come up with the best offer for the striker. The Welsh side are willing to pay an initial fee of £400,000 (€530,000) and another £450,000 (€600,000) in staged payments, with more bonuses due to Chesterfield if Cardiff win promotion to the Premier League.

The clubs agreed terms earlier in the day and late last night Doyle and his agent were in talks with Cardiff on personal terms, but the deal is due to be processed later today. Elevation to the Championship, and the opportunity to play alongside international players like Ireland's Anthony Pilkington, will offer Doyle a better chance to impress Martin O'Neill, who name-checked Doyle when he spoke at a press conference in Dublin on Sunday.

Dubliner Doyle began his senior career with Shamrock Rovers in 2007 but was only a fringe figure for most of his time with the Hoops and midway through the 2009 season he was allowed leave Tallaght Stadium by Michael O'Neill and he joined Sligo Rovers.

Doyle made a bigger impact at the Showgrounds and while his first season there ended with the disappointment of an FAI Cup final defeat to Sporting Fingal, he would later pick up two FAI Cup winner's medals as well as landing the League Cup. Pat Fenlon, recently installed as manager with SPL side Hibernian, had been an admirer of Doyle and lured the striker to Edinburgh on a free transfer, making his debut in a derby defeat to Hearts in January 2012. That first season at Hibs was underwhelming, Doyle scoring just three times in 16 games, also playing in a 5-1 Cup final defeat to Hearts.

His second season (2012/13) was better with 11 goals and Chesterfield boss Paul Cook, who had coached Doyle at Sligo, used the player's out-of-contract status to tempt Doyle to the League One club, and this season the Tallaght man's career took off with a flood of goals which sparked the recent transfer speculation.