Sunday 15 September 2019

Preston eye up move for highly-rated Shamrock Rovers teenager Aaron Bolger

Aaron Bolger. Photo: Barry Cregg/Sportsfile
Aaron Bolger. Photo: Barry Cregg/Sportsfile
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Preston North End are mulling over a New Year move for Shamrock Rovers' Ireland U-19 midfielder Aaron Bolger.

The Championship side are doing their homework on the 18-year-old with a view to the longer term.

Bolger is under contract at Rovers for next year, yet it's entirely possible that his playing opportunities will be limited by the winter recruitment of Jack Byrne and Aaron McEneff.

Indeed, there have been suggestions that Rovers would now be open to listening to offers for Bolger as a consequence.

He completed his Leaving Cert last summer after finishing his studies in tandem with a full-time commitment to Rovers through their partnership with fee-paying school Ashfield College.

Preston have a keen eye on the Irish market having recruited extensively from the League of Ireland with mixed results.

They signed Graham Burke from the Hoops last summer and he has been starved of first-team opportunities. Bolger has come onto their radar, but they are not believed to have made contact with Rovers about the established member of Tom Mohan's U-19 group.

It's possible they will retain a watching brief at this stage with a view to following through on any interest in the summer.

Their Dublin rivals Bohemians are in limbo waiting on developments as regards young striker Ali Reghba who is on trial with Leicester following a stint with Middlesbrough.

Promising full-back Andy Lyons has already spent time at Wolves but would command a transfer fee because he is under contract.

It's also understood that MLS side Minnesota United have been alerted to the promise of left full Darragh Leahy. The Dubliner has signed up with the Gypsies for 2019 and it's thought that the ex-Coventry player has ambitions of returning to England.

But the American side have received positive word about the 20-year-old and are doing their research. Leahy is a certainty to be drafted into the Ireland U-21 squad under new boss Stephen Kenny.

He was keen on Leahy while he was Dundalk boss, and the Lilywhites were also looking at winger Dan Kelly before he accepted an offer to go on trial with Bolton.

That will not be developing into a full-time switch due to cash problems at Bolton, and Dundalk have emerged as the favourites to secure Kelly's signature.

The champions are still in the process of finalising their new management team.

Vinny Perth will be in charge under the new structure, but he lacks a pro licence. Former Dundalk boss John Gill is in contention for a role; but it's believed the Louth club still have prospective candidates they wish to speak with.

Irish Independent

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