Warren Feeney plays down speculation linking Blues with Liam Boyce move

Liam Boyce has scored 60 goals in the past two seasons for Cliftonville
Liam Boyce has scored 60 goals in the past two seasons for Cliftonville

Linfield manager Warren Feeney has played down speculation linking Liam Boyce with a summer move to Windsor Park.

Cliftonville striker Boyce – who comes out of contract at Solitude at the end of the month – is on the radar of a number of clubs.

Shamrock Rovers are believed to be keen on the 23-year-old hit-man, while there is simmering interest in the Scottish Premiership and English leagues.

Linfield have also been linked with a possible summer swoop, with some reports claiming talks had already taken place between Feeney and the player.

But speaking on Wednesday night, the new Blues boss laughed off the rumours.

“Apparenly I was supposed to have met with Liam last night. That would have been difficult considering Liam was at Stormont with Cliftonville and I was watching our youth team in Armagh,” Feeney joked.

“I can’t really do anything about what people say on social media or in the papers. There will always be speculation and reports, that’s part and parcel of football.

“I remember as a player being linked with clubs but it turned out to be rubbish.

“At the end of the day, until a player is signed and sealed, I don’t make any comment.

“I have no doubt a player of Liam Boyce’s quality will be in demand. I am sure he is on the radar of a host of clubs. But that’s because he is a good player.

“People can link whoever they want with Linfield. Speculation will always be flying about at this time of the year. Some of the stories and rumours you hear are dynamite – but that’s football.”

One player Feeney is keen to have next season is Philip Lowry.

The Blues midfielder has been offered a new contract by the club, but is taking time before deciding on his future.

The former Institute star has been linked with a return to the North West, with both Derry City and Coleraine reportedly keen on the player.

“We have made Philip an offer and we are currently waiting on a decision,” Feeney said.

“I am sure there are other clubs interested in Philip. He is a quality player who had a great season last year.

“All I can do now is wait and see, but obviously we would like to finalise things soon.

“I have to do what’s right for Linfield Football Club and I have to plan for next season. So Philip’s decision will impact on those plans.”

Despite losing midfielders Robert Garrett and Michael Gault in recent weeks, Feeney insists there is no added pressure to keep Lowry on board for next season.

“At the end of the day, if Philip decides his future lies elsewhere then we have to move on,” he added.

“There are 1500-2000 players in England who are out of contract, and we are actively looking at potential new signings.

“But we want to keep Philip at the club. He is a very good player, and one I feel can develop further.

“I am not sure what he is thinking right now, but the offer is there for Philip to stay at Linfield and hopefully he does.”

Feeney – whose only signing so far is striker Sammy Morrow – insists he will abide by the mantra of quality over quantity as he looks to add to his squad.

“I haven’t put a figure on how many new faces we need,” he added.

“The key is to improve the quality of the squad, so we won’t rush into buying players left, right and centre.

“I will bide my time before signing anyone.”