JUNIOR Ogedi-Uzokwe has opened contract negotiations with his parent club, Colchester United but the striker is refusing to rule out a return to Derry City.
It’s understood the EFL League Two outfit are keen to extend the Londoner’s current deal, which expires next summer, after his hugely successful campaign in the League of Ireland top flight.
Junior, who netted 14 goals in the Premier Division last season, won the SSE Airtricity Premier Division ‘Golden Boot’ on the final day of the 2019 campaign when scoring a hat-trick against Finn Harps at Brandywell.
He proved a shrewd loan signing by Declan Devine and his backroom team, however, with the League of Ireland top goalscorer accolade now on his CV, it will have alerted plenty of interest from clubs in England and elsewhere.
Junior was expecting to meet with Colchester officials for talks over the next couple of days but he’s uncertain where his immediate future lies.
“I haven’t made any plans yet. I’m meeting Colchester to speak about how long I can have off before getting back to training and my future and stuff.
“Nothing has been mentioned about contract extension yet, we’ll wait and see. I’ve heard whispers about interest from other clubs but I haven’t heard anything concrete,” he insisted.
“I’m just waiting to go into Colchester and see what their plans are before deciding on my future. But, no, I can’t rule out anything at this point. I really enjoyed my time in Derry so I wouldn’t rule out a return to Derry.”
Junior (25) had signed for Derry last February after spending the previous six months on loan at English National League outfit, Bromley. And he’s in no hurry to rush back to training after 18 months without a break.
“I’ve played for something like 18 months straight so we’ll see what happens next. I’m just been spending time with my family again and I’m enjoying every minute of it, even doing the school runs with my little brother,” he laughed. “So I’m just enjoying my time off.”
While Derry City boss, Devine would gladly welcome Junior’s return to Brandywell, he understands it will be difficult to bring him back.
”Junior got top goalscorer in the league so that’s alarm bells everywhere,” said the City boss. “Junior is just an incredible person, Colchester didn’t want him and now Colchester are meeting him (this week) to offer him a two or three year extension but whether he accepts that, it’s down to him.
“By all means we will be trying to keep our best players. If they want to move on then that’s fine, good luck. We’ll have to get somebody else.”