DERRY City winger, James McClean, has been given permission to speak with Championship club, Peterborough United, today but the “Journal” has learned that a bigger move could well unfold in England tomorrow.
ARTHUR DUFFY reports
As it stands at the moment, Peterborough’s Director of Football, Barry Fry, has tabled an offer of £250,000 plus additional clauses, in an effort to sign the 22-year-old and Derry have given the “Posh” club permission to speak with the player and his representatives in England today (Tuesday).
However, at the time of going to Press last night, it’s understood that Premiership club, Wigan, have also stepped in having watched McClean turn Friday night’s game in favour of the “Candy Stripes” at the Carlisle Grounds in Bray.
In fact, former Manchester City striker, Kevin Reeves, met with Derry chairman, Philip O’Doherty, prior to that game in Co. Wicklow to discuss McClean’s availability, but the Brandywell chairman insisted that the Premiership club “had not been in touch” with him when I made contact yesterday.
“Peterborough United have been given permission to speak with James McClean,” confirmed Mr. O’Doherty.
“I am now aware that he will be travelling to England with his representive on Tuesday morning to have a look around the club’s facilities and talk to both manager, Darren Ferguson and the club’s Director of Footbal, Barry Fry.”
But the Derry chairman rejected suggestions that during his trip to England, McClean would also meet representatives of Wigan, possibly tomorrow (Wednesday.)
“I can honestly state that I am not aware of any such move by Wigan,” insisted Mr. O’Doherty. “The only offer we have received has come from Peterborough and with James anxious to further his career at a higher level, we have given him permission to speak with the Championship club.
“Yes, I did have a converation with a representative from Wigan before last Friday night’s match in Bray but, at this stage, I have not received any further contact from him so I think it would be unwise for me to comment on such speculation,” suggested Mr. O’Doherty.
It’s no secret that McClean has been the centre of attention for a number of clubs over recent weeks and while Mr. O’Doherty was delighted to see one of his club’s players rated so highly across the Channel, he refused to get carried away.
“Peterborough have made a written offer and I’ve spoken to Barry Fry several times last weekend, but that is the only offer Derry City have received,” insisted Mr. O’Doherty.
Player refused to
The player also refused to comment on the speculation but he also confirmed that he would be travelling to England this morning.
“I’ve been invited over to have a look around Peterborough and I feel it’s something I should do given that the club has made an offer to buy me,” he said.
“Over the past few weeks I’ve heard and read quite a lot about my own future, but until something is signed and sealed, I’d prefer not to comment.
“Peterborough have been in touch and while other clubs have been talking to my agent about my availability, I’m really not sure what is happening. But I do know that Peterborough are interested in signing me and I’ve agreed to travel over to talk to them on Tuesday.”
Having played a pivotal role in Derry’s success to date in both the First and Premier Divisions of the Airtricity League, there’s no doubt that the loss of McClean would certainly weaken the team but, at the same time, the transfer fee would go a long way to stabilising the football club.
“Moving to England and to a higher level is something I’ve always wanted to to and now that a few clubs have expressed an interest in me, I’m obviously delighted. An offer has been made to Derry and I will travel over to England and discuss my future with the club and see what develops.
“It will be a big move for me and I must admit I’m a bit weary about it, but my dream to test myself at a higher level and a move to England is something that I’ve been hoping for,” he concluded.