A SECOND English club has entered the race for highly rated winger, Ronan Curtis’ signature according to Derry City chairman, Philip O’Doherty.
The Republic of Ireland U21 international flies off to south England this morning to meet up with representatives of Portsmouth for talks ahead of a potential move which is understood to be worth a six-figure sum plus add-on clauses for Derry City.
It will also provide an opportunity for the St Johnston native to have a look around the club’s facilities before any deal is agreed.
And while Kenny Jackett’s Portsmouth appear to be in pole position to secure the player’s services, it has emerged another English club, rumoured to be Reading, have also declared their interest.
Mr. O’Doherty refused to give too much away and wouldn’t disclose any further information about the transfer fee involved although sources in Portsmouth confirmed it was ‘substantial’.
“As far as I’m aware, Ronan will travel over to Portsmouth on Tuesday (today) to meet with club officials and have a look around the area,” he confirmed.
“We have been in discussions with Portsmouth and have agreed to maintain confidentiality in respect of any possible transfer fee.
“Another English club has made contact with us but, at this stage, I’m not prepared to identify that club as I feel it would disrespectful.
“The club has expressed an interest in Ronan and has asked to be kept informed of his plans for the future. I’m not prepared to say anything more than that at this point in time.”
While clearly delighted at how the season has progressed, both on and off the park, Mr. O’Doherty acknowledged getting current players tied-up with new contracts before the current season ends was also vital.
“We have to keep an eye firmly on the future and we do have several players nearing the end of their contracts. Obviously, the manager is in control of that situation and, no doubt, Kenny Shiels will be reported back to us on that front.”
“I’m aware that he is currently speaking to a number of players, hoping to secure their services for another year at least,” concluded Mr. O’Doherty.
The chairman refused to get involved in identifying the players, but it’s an open secret that Aaron McEneff’s contract is due to expire at the end of the current season, while fellow midfielder, Nicky Low, is another player whose future remains unknown.
The Scot’s contract with Dundee runs out in July leaving him a free agent and while there has been suggestions that he may opt to return to the Scottish Leagues, Derry City supporters will be keen to see him stay at the Brandywell for at least another year.