DERRY City and Dundalk seem set to be involved in a tug o’war over the future of talented 21-year-old striker, Mark Griffin, the “Journal” has learned.
ARTHUR DUFFY reports
And with former Brandywell boss, Stephen Kenny, now holding the managerial reins at Oriel Park, the battle to secure the services of the player is expected to intensify.
It’s believed Griffin informed his new boss that he was keen to join the Brandywell club and while he is currently out of contract, the fact that he is under the age of 23 necessitates a UEFA compensation fee.
Since then, Dundalk have slapped a £20,000 compensation fee on the player’s head and, predictably, the Brandywell club’s interest has now diminished.
“Obviously we are aware of Mark’s age and, indeed, in the compensation ruling but we’re not interested in paying out excessive compensation fees.
“We would be happy to discuss the payment of a nominal sum for the player, but we’re not in the business of paying heavy fees for any player,” claimed Derry boss, Declan Devine last night.
“We’ve attempted to sign Mark in the past and while that move didn’t work out, we felt he was anxious to come to us prior to the 2013 season but Dundalk have since blocked that move.
“We’re certainly not going to pay ‘silly money’ for any player and while we believe Mark would have fitted in well with our current set-up, Dundalk have already been informed that we will not be paying a ridiculous sum given the current recessionary times we live in,” he added.
“Mark ticks all our boxes in terms of age and ability and the fact that he has already played in the Premier Division is another advantage.
“However, with a £20,000 fee now on his head, we must focus our attentions elsewhere as we continue to build a squad for the 2013 campaign,” concluded Devine.
Nottingham Forest Keen
Meanwhile, it appears that Stephen McLaughlin has made a good impression during his one week trial at Nottingham Forest according to sources at the Championship club.
Accompanied by his father, Neil, the Isle of Doagh man set sail for Nottingham on Monday last and having trained with both the club’s under-21 team and its first team, the versatile winger is expected home tomorrow.
“Everything has gone very well for me,” said Stephen. “I’ve been involved in training with both the reserve and first teams and I’m certainly enjoying the experience.
“I’ve spoken to the club’s coaches and I’ve been shown around the club’s training facilities which are brilliant, but I’m not taking anything for granted.
“If something works out, then that’s fine, but if things don’t work out, then I’ll be back at the Brandywell looking forward to the 2013 season with Derry City.
“I’ve decided to take nothing for granted and while I have enjoyed the experience here at Forest, a brilliant club, I’m also looking forward to getting back home,” he concluded.