MLS club enter race for Derry City target Patrick McEleney

Former Dundalk and Derry City playmaker, Patrick McEleney has entered talks with a top MLS side.
Former Dundalk and Derry City playmaker, Patrick McEleney has entered talks with a top MLS side.

A TOP Major League Soccer club has joined the battle to sign in-demand playmaker, Patrick McEleney.

The Derry City target has been involved in ongoing talks with several clubs in England, Ireland and Scotland in recent weeks and now a well-known MLS side are the latest to declare their interest in the out-of-contract player.

It’s a massive decision, not only on the field but I have to think about my family - it comes down to a lot of things really. It’s not a decision I can just jump into.

Patrick McEleney

McEleney, who netted 10 goals for Dundalk in an impressive 2017 campaign, remains ‘undecided’ and insists he isn’t in any hurry to make a potentially life-changing decision.

And while he also refused to rule out a return to his hometown club or, in fact, Dundalk, he is prepared to mull over several attractive offers before committing his future to any interested party.

League One outfit Oldham Athletic were rumoured to be winning the race for his signature while McEleney reckons a move Stateside would be ‘appealing’.

However, the 25 year-old Shantallow man insists there’s no one club ‘leading the race’.

“There are big clubs involved and I’ve met a few now,” revealed the Derry native. “The MLS is really appealing but everything has to be right. It’s not just about me, it’s about every one.

“It’s dragging on a bit now but I expected that anyway. There has been interest from here and other places like America, England and Scotland,” he revealed. “But I’m just going to take my time and try and make the right decision.

“It’s a massive decision, not only on the field but I have to think about my family - it comes down to a lot of things really. It’s not a decision I can just jump into. It has to be right for everybody,” he continued.

“I wouldn’t say anyone is leading the race or anyone is coming last, it’s just a case of weighing everything up and there’s still a lot of thinking to be done.

“It’s always nice to have interest from everywhere because, to be honest, I’m undecided on where I’m going to go.

“I’ll just take it as it comes and see what materialises. I reckon I’m a couple of weeks away from making a decision. It’s been a slow process but only because I’m trying to do the right thing.

“It just has to be right, especially when it comes to moving my family away. Everything has to be perfect.”

With clubs like Blackburn Rovers, Coventry, Doncaster and Wigan Athletic all linked with the players, can League of Ireland clubs compete?

“I love playing here in Ireland,” he added. “The league is under-rated and I would definitely have no problem with signing back anywhere.

“I’ll just have a think about it all over Christmas and when I have everything in front of me, I’ll make my mind up then. I’ll spend time with my family and talk it through with them over the Christmas period,” he concluded.