RELEGATED Premiership side, Blackpool, are believed to have tabled a bid to land Derry City’s rising star, James McClean, the “Journal” has learned.
ARTHUR DUFFY reports
And with both Burnley and Luton Town, who have watched the winger perform this season, holding a watching brief, it would appear that the 22-year-old Creggan man could achieve his ambition of performing at a high level next season in England.
While the Journal failed to gain confirmation of the approach, it is understood to have been made over the last 48 hours, Blackpool appear to be the first club to “test the water” in relation to signing one of the Brandywell club’s exciting young players.
However, while Derry City officials refused to comment on the issue last night, it’s also understood that the offer tabled fell far short of Derry City’s valuation of the player.
“The Tangerines” manager, Ian Holloway, is well aware of the player’s talents having had him watched twice when playing in Dublin this season and while the former N. Ireland Under-21 international is keen to test himself at the highest possible level, the Brandywell club would not be prepared to allow him leave unless a realistic offer is made.
When contacted last night, McClean said he knew nothing of the offer but, at the moment his commitment would remain with him home town club until he had been informed officially.
“There have been quite a few rumours flying around over recent weeks regarding my future, but no one has said anything to me officially. Until that becomes the case, I want to concentrate on improving and playing well for Derry,” he said.
However, McClean admitted that he was anxious to test himself “at the highest possible level” in the game and should such an opportunity materialise, then he felt he would have to go for it.
“Every player wants to improve and play at the highest level possible and I’m no different,” he maintained. “I feel I’ve been playing well this season in the Premier Division which was always going to be a test for me having come through the First Division the previous season.
“Obviously, I’m still learning and still trying to improve my game and should an offer come in for me from a good club, then I would certainly sit up, take advice on the matter and move on.
“I’ve heard stories about scouts watching me from West Ham, Reading and Burnley among others, but I’ve heard nothing. I’ve read my name associated with some of those club on the internet, but I’ve been told nothing and, as I’ve said, until I do, I will continue trying to improve with Derry City,” he concluded.