Institute striker, Stephen O’Flynn is set to say farewell to the Riverside Stadium with Belfast’s ‘big two’, Linfield and Glentoran vying for the Cork man’s signature.
The 32 year-old who has netted 10 times for Institute so far this season has been attracting interest from a number of clubs but his likely destination is Belfast with Linfield boss, Warren Feeney and representatives from Glentoran making contact with the Drumahoe club in recent weeks.
Former Derry City hitman, O’Flynn was left out of ‘Stute’s 2-1 defeat to Glentoran at the Oval on Saturday due to an injury sustained in training last Thursday night.
And ‘Stute manager, Paul Kee admits his leading scorer is likely to move on to pastures new as his club couldn’t compete with the wages on offer at the Irish Premiership’s top sides.
Kee revealed that Linfield had inquired about the availability of O’Flynn, but was disappointed that ‘other clubs’ have failed to go through the proper channels.
“Warren Feeney discussed the situation with me,” said Kee. “He had the decency to contact me. I know other clubs have spoken to Stephen without going through the proper procedure.
“It’s common courtesy to ring the club concerned. But some managers just don’t do that. If someone wants to ring me to discuss a player, there is no problem. But if people do it behind you back, it is disrespectful.”
Kee admitted that it looks like O’Flynn will depart in the New Year.
“There is a good chance Stephen will go because he’s an amateur,” added Kee. “Basically, we are an amateur club, the players are playing for expenses. That’s the position we are in at the moment.
“That’s the cut throat nature of the Premiership. It’s really up to Stephen.”
I certainly would like him to stay. We’ve given him a chance. Twelve months ago he wasn’t playing football.
“He’s had a good year at our club and, I’m sure Stephen would be the first to acknowledge that.
“At the same time, finance is finance. If he gets a good deal elsewhere he would definitely have to look at it from his personal circumstances.
“He has been a key player for us, there is no question about that,” added Kee. “I think Stephen made up his mind to go. He hasn’t been at is best over the last few matches.
“If he has his head set in leaving, we’ll wish him good luck.”