Dundalk's Michael Duffy signs four year deal with Derry City
DUNDALK winger Michael Duffy has agreed a sensational return to Derry City Football Club at the end of the season.
The 27 year-old Galliagh man, who made 78 appearances and scored 20 goals for his hometown club prior to making his move to Celtic in 2014, has signed a four year pre-contract agreement with the Candy Stripes.
Duffy, who has turned down approaches from several English League One teams, is understood to have taken a significant pay-cut to join the Brandywell club and was keen to work under City boss Ruaidhri Higgins once again. Indeed, his relationship with Higgins was a defining factor in his move back to Foyleside seven years after initially departing for Glasgow.
Last week Higgins responded to mounting speculation linking the talented wideman to the Brandywell club and refused to rule out the possibility.
“I’m reading and hearing that it’s a done deal but as of now, it’s not a done deal,” he insisted. “We are going to be interested in really good players when they become available but at this stage he’s a Dundalk player so it’s far from a done deal.”
The club has today announced that deal has been completed, representing another major blow to Dundalk who are already braced for Patrick McEleney’s exit at the end of the season.
It's understood the player informed Dundalk boss Vinny Perth of his decision last week and will make a return to his hometown club where it all began once his current deal with the Lilywhites expires.
Of course Duffy, who maintains a strong relationship with Perth, will be keen to end the season on a high with the Oriel Park club who are intent on reaching the FAI Cup Final showpiece next month after being paired with St Patrick's Athletic in next month's semi-final at Richmond Park.
For Derry fans, the news that Duffy will arrive alongside McEleney ahead of the 2022 season is certain to whet the appetite and will no doubt raise expectations significantly.
Duffy has been instrumental in Dundalk’s success since his arrival from Celtic in 2017, winning two SSE Airtricity League titles, two FAI Cups, two League Cups, the President’s Cup and the Unite The Union Champions Cup.
The Derry man was also named as PFAI Player of the Year in 2018 and played a key role in Dundalk’s remarkable UEFA Europa League success in 2020.