Monday 11 December 2017

Clubs line up for Madden as rift with boss pushes him to Yeovil exit door

Paddy Madden
Paddy Madden
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

SIX months after his Wembley heroics lifted Yeovil to the Championship and earned him an Irish call-up, Paddy Madden could return to League One on loan today with a view to a permanent departure in January.

The Dubliner is on the way out of Huish Park after a breakdown in relations with manager Gary Johnson, with Bristol City and Swindon leading the race to capture the striker before this evening's emergency loan deadline for the English lower leagues.

They can agree a deal to sign the player until the end of season, but it's understood that his relationship with Johnson has deteriorated to the extent that he would be willing to let the ex-Bohemians man negotiate a pre-contract agreement to leave for a fee in January -- a year after he joined Yeovil for £20,000 on a similar arrangement following a successful period on loan from Carlisle.

Madden was the star of their fairytale charge to promotion -- scoring 24 times, including a stunning early effort in the play-off final victory over Brentford at Wembley and the club were prepared to put a £1m price tag on his head in the summer after his exploits made headlines.

But he has failed to score in 10 appearances this term, with injury halting his progress and then a fall-out with Johnson meaning that he has drifted in and out of the side and spent time training on his own away from the rest of the group. He was placed on the transfer list in the aftermath of the weekend defeat to Wigan.

A posse of League One clubs are desperate to add the front player to their ranks.

New Sheffield United boss Nigel Clough is an admirer, but his interest is complicated by the large squad he inherited from David Weir and he may have to move bodies out before welcoming a new face.

Bristol City have therefore moved into pole position, with boss Sean O'Driscoll registering a firm interest with his club struggling in the relegation zone after responding poorly to relegation from the Championship.

Swindon, who are on the fringes of the play-off places, are also looking to bolster their front line and they will look to bring Madden on board today.

Irish Independent

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