Cliftonville warn clubs must pay 'top dollar' for Conor McMenamin amid Derry City interest

CLIFTONVILLE boss Paddy McLaughlin has warned clubs will have to break the bank to prise Derry City target Conor McMenanim away from Solitude.

Thursday, 7th January 2021, 6:41 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th January 2021, 6:44 pm
Derry City target, Conor McMenamin has two and a half years remaining on his current Cliftonville contract.

The talented 25 year-old winger has been the subject of enquiries from Derry City, Larne and Glentoran among others since the January Transfer Window opened last week.

However, the Candy Stripes would have a hard time persuading the Belfast club to sell a player who Reds boss McLaughlin rates as ‘the best player in the Irish League’.

McMenamin has two-and-a-half years remaining on his current deal and former Derry City defender McLaughlin claims any potential suitor would have to pay a ‘top bracket’ fee to be in with a chance of signing the player.

McLaughlin has made it clear he’s prepared to negotiate an improved deal with the in-demand winger to end speculation about his future.

“There have been enquiries,” confirmed McLaughlin. “Conor McMenamin, in my opinion, is the best player in the Irish League.

“He’s definitely in the top bracket of Irish League players. So not just Derry City, but anybody interested in signing him has to pay the top bracket price as well.

”And I don’t think there are too many clubs willing to do that. Everybody wants to talk about signing him but there’s nobody prepared to put their money where their mouth is.

“He’s a player we don’t want to lose. He’s a player who I’ll be doing all I can to convince to stay and hopefully we can sit down and negotiate improved terms and a new deal with him.

“That’s how highly we value him. We have absolutely no interest in selling him and even if we were to consider it, teams would have to pay top dollar.

“And I don’t think there’s anybody who can match what the club values him at which shows you how highly thought of he is at Cliftonville.

“He proves that every week. He can win matches on his own and not many teams have players like that. We’re lucky to have Conor.

“I can understand teams looking to sign him but anybody looking to sign him will have to offer a top, top price,” he repeated”

Not good news for Derry City who are unlikely to have the funds available to negotiate a transfer for the player, however, it’s understood Devine is set to unveil several new signings imminently.

The club has been linked with several players including former Swansea and Finn Harps forward, teenager Marc Walsh and Linfield’s Bastien Hery.

Meanwhile, talks with Sheffield United over a permanent deal for David Parkhouse are continuing while Darren Cole re-signed for the Brandywell club on Wednesday.

Defender, Cameron McJannett and striker, James Akintunde are also on the verge of completing new deals.