Burnley will consider a loan spell in the Championship for Ireland prospect Jimmy Dunne after his time in the SPL with Hearts ended.
The Dundalk native earned rave reviews in his time with the Edinburgh club, scoring twice in 14 games.
During that time he also earned a call-up to the senior Republic of Ireland squad, for the Nations League clash with Denmark, after a difficult spell in his international career when Dunne, frustrated with the lack of game time at U21 level, flirted with the idea of declaring for Northern Ireland.
But Burnley have now recalled Dunne to Turf Moor and boss Sean Dyche will assess whether to add him to the first team squad or arrange another loan spell, with a loan deal in the Championship his most likely move.
Dunne was one of a number of Irish players involved in loan moves in the last 24 hours as Hearts replaced Dunne with compatriot and fellow defender Conor Shaughnessy, signed on loan from Leeds United.
Galway native Shaughnessy (22) joined Leeds from Reading in 2016 but has played just once for Marcelo Bielsa’s side this season and he will hope to gain first team experience in Scotland with Hearts.
Irish defenders Corey Whelan (Liverpool) and Kevin O’Connor (Preston) have returned to their parent clubs after a loan spell with League Two side Crewe.
Recently a member of the Ireland U21 squad, Whelan (21) impressed in his 18 appearances for Crewe and manager David Artell believes the full back can progress with his career when he returns to Anfield.
But former Cork City man O’Connor struggled at Crewe, as he didn’t play for the side for the last two months of his loan spell and he faces an uncertain future at Preston.
“I had a good long chat with Corey. He has been terrific, I have to say,” said Crewe manager Artell.
“I think he’s played 17-18 times and he’s got half a chance of having a good career.
“He’s got some learning to do and some bits, and he was thankful.
“Kevin was a bit different as he’s a bit older and it’s not quite happened for him.
“But he was admirable and he did the job when he was called upon.
“Corey and Kevin will go back to their respective clubs, Liverpool and Preston, and we thank them for their time and their efforts.”
O’Connor is under contract with Preston until 2020 but the Wexford native has been out of the picture for some time, a loan spell with Fleetwood as well as Crewe, and Preston boss Alex Neil may try to move him on.
Andy Boyle is also back at Preston as his time on loan to SPL side Dundee was ended last week. Boyle (27) is out of contract with Preston at the end of this season but the Championship side may agree to a deal which will see him leave Deepdale this month.
His former club Dundalk are monitoring his situation and could try to bring Boyle back to Oriel Park but Shamrock Rovers are also keen.
Dundalk have made just two new signings ahead of the 2019 season and new boss Vinny Perth confirmed last week that the board have promised to back the management team financially in terms of transfer targets.