Friday 20 April 2018

Bhoys plot Forde move as Forster weighs up options

Garry Doyle

Celtic plan to make a move for Ireland goalkeeper David Forde at the end of this season should their first-choice 'keeper, Fraser Forster, leave the club.

With Forde's Millwall contract expiring at the end of this season, the likelihood of the Galwegian finding new employers grows with each passing week.

Contract talks with the 33-year-old have been ongoing for over two months but no deal is close to being finalised.

Aware of this, Celtic have made their interest known. Yet they have done so on the premise that if Forster goes – Manchester United and Manchester City are both keen to sign the English international – they will need a ready-made replacement. And Forde fits the bill.

Should Forster stay, though, then Forde is unlikely to accept Neil Lennon's invitation, given his preference – at this stage of his career – to be guaranteed first-team football.

In the meantime, Ireland manager Martin O'Neill has promised Forde the opportunity to stake a claim to be Ireland's permanent first-choice, having informed him yesterday that he will be selected to play against Poland tomorrow.

SHOWCASE

Keiren Westwood was given the nod to start in O'Neill's first game against Latvia on Friday but, given the lack of chances for the visitors in Dublin, the Sunderland stopper was rarely given a chance to showcase his talents.

That's unlikely to be the same scenario for Forde tomorrow night in Poznan against Poland, with the Millwall man likely to see plenty of action – although he will be hoping not as much as he did against Germany, when he was man of the match despite a 3-0 defeat last month.

O'Neill, according to Ireland striker Kevin Doyle, also plans to experiment with both his formation and team selection for tomorrow's friendly in Poznan.

"The Polish game will be a totally different one to Friday's," said Doyle. "No manager uses the same tactics every time. From what I hear, it will be a different team and perhaps a different formation."

Elsewhere, the FAI are believed to be preparing to introduce a Twitter ban for match days after James McClean became involved in another spat on the social network yesterday.

Irish Independent

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