CORK CITY face the prospect of losing star defender Brian Lenihan as cross-channel interest in the Ireland U21 cap hots up.
Lenihan is in his first full season at Cork City, having made his debut for the side in 2012, and his form has sparked interest from clubs in Britain, as well as promotion to the Irish U21 squad.
And local radio in Cork today reported that an unnamed cross-channel club, thought to be Aston Villa, had lodged a bid for the player, with SPL champions Celtic also keen on the full back and poised to challenge for Lenihan's signature, though Arsenal have also been tracking the 20-year-old.
Lenihan missed City's 2-1 defeat to Dundalk last Friday after he suffered concussion during a loss to Bohemians the previous week but he could return to the squad for Friday's league game at home to St Patrick's Athletic, a vital game for second-placed Cork. Boss John Caulfield would not want to lose his key defender as City head into a key stage of their season.
If a deal is to be done for Lenihan before the transfer window in England closes, Cork would hope for a clause to allow Lenihan sign for a club but still see out the season here, as happened when Shamrock Rovers sold Enda Stevens to Aston Villa.