Derry City make move for Crusaders' Jamie McGonigle

Derry City is believed to be continuing talks with Crusaders for striker Jamie McGonigle, as the Brandywell club aims to strengthen its squad when the July transfer window open this Thursday.
Derry City target Jamie McGonigle.Derry City target Jamie McGonigle.
Derry City target Jamie McGonigle.

The Dungiven man, who still has a year left to run on his contract with Stephen Baxter’s side, only a few weeks ago turned down a move to Larne, while Coleraine have had a bid for the 25-year-old rejected by the Shore Road club.

The Candy Stripes are understood to have made enquiries about McGonigle, who played alongside Derry boss Ruaidhri Higgins at Coleraine during the 2015/16 season and it’s thought the striker would be in favour of a switch to the Brandywell.

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McGonigle, since making the switch from Coleraine to Crusaders in 2019, has made 75 appearances for Baxter’s side, scoring 32 goals and adding 13 assists.

Although City boss Higgins kept his cards close to his chest and wouldn’t be drawn on the mounting speculation, he did confirm that the club were working on things behind the scenes.

“We obviously have one or two irons in the fire but it’s still very, very early,” he insisted.

“We are working away hard in the background and we are trying to add numbers in certain areas in the squad to give us a boost that we need until the end of the season. “I’m not going to get into discussions of what areas I’m looking at but as I said without giving too much away we have one or two irons in the fire and that can go either way.

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“It’s the same in any transfer window and the same for any manager, you think you are close to one or two things and then at the last minute they can go against you, so I’ll not be naming anyone until we have anything concrete and as it stands we don’t have anything concrete.”

Cliftonville goalkeeper Aaron McCarey, who Higgins worked with during his time at Dundalk is also believed to be a City target and the Limavady native feels competition for places is something his squad will need, particularly going into the second half of the campaign.

“I’m sure the players at Derry City know that we’ll be looking to bolster the squad, so it wouldn’t be a shock to them,” he insisted.

“Look, we don’t have the biggest squad in the world, so I think the players would welcome one or two new additions, but listen, we’ll see where it goes over the coming weeks and, as I said, we just need to reenergise the group and give the second half of the season a good bash,” concluded the Derry manager.