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Rovers monitor Darragh Burns while Luke McNally set for £1.6m Burnley move and Conor McCarthy confirms Barnsley deal


Luke McNally in action for St Pat's. Picture: Sportfile

Luke McNally in action for St Pat's. Picture: Sportfile

Luke McNally in action for St Pat's. Picture: Sportfile

Shamrock Rovers are waiting in the wings to pounce if St Patrick's Athletic winger Darragh Burns does not agree a move to the UK in the summer transfer window.

The Saints have knocked back bids for the talented player who has graduated to Jim Crawford's Ireland U-21 squad.

Hibs and Celtic were keen over the winter, and a number of English clubs are tracking the exciting talent with Brighton - who keep a firm eye on the Irish market - understood to be amongst that contingent.

The strongest interest at this stage is believed to be from a League One club which has made a fresh offer that failed to meet the Saints valuation.

Burns' deal in Inchicore is up at the end of the season and UK clubs would have to pay significant compensation based on his length of service with the Inchicore club.

However, the rules for domestic transfers for out of contract individuals are different with Burns able to relocate to another League of Ireland side if they are willing to pay a year's salary in compensation.

Rovers are long term admirers of Burns with both staff and players impressed by his performances against the Hoops last term.

The champions are prepared to make an offer with a view to convincing Burns that Tallaght would be the best option in his situation.

Elsewhere, two former League of Ireland defenders are taking a step forward in their careers across the water with ex-Cork City defender Conor McCarthy signing for Barnsley and former St Patrick’s Athletic centre half Luke McNally nearing a £1.6m switch to Burnley.

McCarthy has agreed a three year deal with Barnsley after the expiration of his contract with St Mirren.

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“It’s a step on the ladder for me, playing for England is a new experience and something I’m really looking forward to,” said McCarthy (24) who has joined a club aiming to bounce back to the Championship at the first attempt.

McNally (22) has already proven himself in League One with Oxford and interest from a higher level has made a switch to Burnley a real possibility with the clubs involving in ongoing discussions and some UK reports indicating a deal is close after early bids were rejected.

His recruitment could be part of a domino effect related to the future of Ireland star Nathan Collins with the bolstering of the defensive ranks paving the way for Burnley to cash in on Premier League interest in the star of the Irish Nations League summer.

McNally’s sale would also be good news for St Patrick’s Athletic who hold a sell-on clause in the event of Oxford agreeing a deal.

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