Monday 22 July 2019

Fresh McClean link with Forest as Boyle opts for Scotland over Ireland

James McClean Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
James McClean Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Nottingham Forest are weighing up a late move for James McClean before the close of the transfer window.

And reports in the English Midlands have suggested they could broker a swap deal with Stoke that will see midfielder Ben Osborn go in the other direction.

However, it's understood there has been no offer for McClean as of yet with the player in the dark with regard to any interest.

Martin O'Neill was linked with a move for his fellow Derry man immediately after he was appointed Forest boss.

He did not dampen the speculation when asked directly about the 29-year-old, although addressing defensive issues was his immediate priority.

O'Neill and his new assistant Roy Keane are looking to strengthen in wide areas and McClean would be a fit for their style.

By contrast, Stoke's new boss Nathan Jones favours a diamond midfield which spells bad news for the Irish international.

He has come off the bench in every game since Jones' appointment and the fact he only joined the club last summer is an obvious stumbling block. McClean signed a four-year contract after moving from West Brom.

Elsewhere, former Dundalk defender Andy Boyle has joined Ross County on loan from Preston.

Out-of-favour The out-of-favour centre-half was at Dundee for the first half in this campaign. He has opted to return north for the rest of the season instead of coming back to Ireland - Shamrock Rovers and Dundalk were both keen. Boyle's contract with Preston expires at the end of this season. He had also attracted interest from England.

Ross County are top of the Scottish Championship and looking to win promotion at the first attempt having suffered relegation last summer.

Bohemians have signed midfielder Scott Allardice from Dundee United. Allardice (20) has previously spent time on loan with East Fife and Dumbarton.

His new club play East Fife in the Irn-Bru Cup this Saturday. "He's had other opportunities in Ireland, so we're delighted to get him in," said Bohs boss Keith Long who is also looking to bring in striker Sam Byrne from Dundalk.

The League of Ireland champions went down 3-0 to Austrian side LASK Linz in a friendly yesterday. Linz are currently second in the Austrian top flight.

Meanwhile, the FAI have appointed 'Irish Sun' sports editor Cathal Dervan as their new Director of Public Relations and Communications.

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