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Defender Boyle close to Oriel Park return

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WANTED: Andy Boyle

WANTED: Andy Boyle

WANTED: Andy Boyle

Dundalk are close to a deal to bring former hero Andy Boyle back to Oriel Park.

Ireland international Boyle is under contract with Championship side Preston until the end of the season, but boss Alex Neil made it clear some time ago that Boyle, signed by previous manager Simon Grayson, was not in his plans.

The defender spent four months on loan to SPL side Dundee but that loan ended last month and he was recalled to Preston, though he was not added back into the first-team squad for recent games.

Boyle's contract runs out in the summer, but he is keen to secure first-team football, either on loan to a club in Britain or with a move back home.

Dundalk are well equipped in central defence with players from the double-winning squad like Sean Hoare, Brian Gartland and Dan Cleary already signed up for 2019.

But Boyle's experience at European level with Dundalk and his international exposure - he was capped twice at senior level by Martin O'Neill - make him a valuable asset.

Dundalk are keen to strengthen the squad, with six departures since the end of last season - Dylan Connolly, Gabriel Sava, Georgie Poynton, Ronan Murray, Carlton Ubaeuzonu and Stephen O'Donnell - with only two confirmed signings (keeper Aaron McCarey and winger Daniel Kelly).

"There may be a couple of other young lads coming back and we're looking for one or two of them, but we're in a good position. The team is sorted, we just need to add to the squad now," manager Vinny Perth said last week.

Local media in Dundalk have also linked the club with a move for former Ireland U21 cap Sean Murray.

Debut

The winger made his first team debut for Watford at 17 and had six seasons at Vicarage Road, Murray also impressing at underage international level as he was a member of Paul Doolin's Ireland U19 side which reached the semi-final of the European Championships in 2011.

But Murray struggled since leaving Watford in 2016, spells with Swindon and Colchester and he was also in Denmark, withVelje.

Former Manchester United and Everton trainee Sam Byrne remains under contract at Dundalk but Bohemians are keen on the 23-year-old who has struggled with injury since he returned to Ireland from Everton 12 months ago.

Byrne had a short spell on loan from Dundalk to Irish League side Glentoran last year.


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