Derry City set for incomings and outgoings

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Derry City look set to sign UCD striker Colm Whelan after manager Ruaidhrí Higgins confirmed he expects to add a new face to his squad in the coming days.

The City boss was playing his cards close to his chest and wouldn’t reveal the identity of his new signing but did admit the announcement is likely to come later this week.

“Hopefully we’ll have some news by the end of the week,” insisted Higgins.

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The Republic of Ireland U21 international front man has believed to have turned down champions Shamrock Rovers and a possible move across to League One side Lincoln City, in favour of a switch to the Candy Stripes.

The 22-year-old has an impressive goalscoring record with the Students having scored 44 goals in 66 appearances in all competitions since 2020.

Last season the Kilkenny native netted four goals in the Premier Division before suffering a cruciate ligament injury at Finn Harps in May and missed the remainder of the 2022 campaign.

With Whelan’s expected arrival it’s thought that striker James Akintunde will leave the Brandywell.

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The Londoner is out of contract and a free agent and had become a fans’ favourite but his return to Derry now looks increasingly unlikely.

Striker James Akintunde looks set to leave Derry City.Striker James Akintunde looks set to leave Derry City.
Striker James Akintunde looks set to leave Derry City.
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Akintunde, who joined City under Declan Devine's stewardship in 2020, made 17 starts last season and also came off the bench in 21 games, netting eight goals in all competitions. He made in total 87 appearances for the Foylesiders during his two year spell.

The 26-year-old scored memorable last minute winners for City last season at Bohemians and Ballybofey and made 68 appearances for Higgins, a figure bettered only by FAI Cup two goal hero Cameron McJannet.

However defender Ciaran Coll is on the verge of signing a new deal to remain on Foyleside.

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Coll, like Akintunde is out of contract, has made 110 appearances for Derry after joining in 2019 from Finn Harps and while his game time in 2022 was limited, it's thought he's a valued member of the squad.

And with Danny Lafferty’s recent departure to Sligo Rovers, getting the Donegal man signed up for 2023 is believed to be high on Higgins’ agenda.